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The Gist of Japan 



The I si a iui$ 
Their People 
And Mi&ions 



By the Ro. 

R. B. Peery, A.M., Ph.D. 



Of line 



With Illustrations 



YOKK CHtCAOO T0SONTO 

Fleming H. EC veil Company 



Copyright, i8<)7i 
FUMING II, KKVKU, 



To My Wife 

To whose Kimliy Sympathy ml Help j, largely Due 

Whatever 0;' Value there may he In these Pages 

This Bwk ts Affectionately Dedicated 



PREFACE 

tH a grout deal has already been pub- 
lished in Knglish concerning Japan and the 
Japanese people, nothing, to my knowledge, has 
yet been published which attempts to give a full 

treatment of mission work in Japan. ** An. 

American Missionary In Japan," by Dr. Gordon, 
is the only book I am aware of that deals ex- 
clusively with tins subject ; but its scope is quite 

different from that of the present volume. There- 
fore 1 have been led to believe that there is a 
place for this bonk. 

1 have written for the common people and 
hence have tried to give the subject a plain, 
popular treatment. There has been no attempt 
at exhaustive discussion, but great pains have 
been taken to make the hook reliable and accu- 
rate. 

In the preparation of this little book I have 
consulted freely the following works in English : 
'* Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. ** ; 
files of the ** Japan Mail ** ; * 4 Transactions of the 

3 



4 PREFACE 

Osaka Conference, 1882'*; Rein's "Japan"; 
Griffis's "Mikado's Empire"; Griffis's "Reli- 
gions of Japan " ; Chamberlain's <( Handbook of 
Things Japanese " ; Miss Bacon's " Japanese Girls 
and Women " ; Dr. Lawrence's " Modern Mis- 
sions in the East"; "Report of the World's 
Missionary Conference, London, 1888"; and 
reports of the various missionary societies operat- 
ing in Japan. In Japanese I have consulted some 
native historians and moral and religious writers 
especially in the preparation of the chapters on 
History, Morality, and Religions. 

The book is sent forth with the prayer that it 
may be the means of begetting in the American 
churches a deeper interest in the work it por- 
trays. 

R. B. P. 

SAGA, JAPAN. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



I. THE LAND OF JAPAN ... 9 

II. A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 32 

III. JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS . . .51 

IV. MANNERS AND CUSTOMS . 69. 
V. JAPANESE CIVILIZATION . , .89 

VI, JAPANESE MORALITY * . . 107. 

VII, RELIGIONS OF JAPAN ... 122 

VIII. FIRST INTRODUCTION OP CHRISTIANITY . 144 

IX. MODERN ROMAN AND GREEK MISSIONS . 160 

X. A BRIKF HISTORY OF PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN 

JAPAN ..... 169 

XI. QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK IN JAPAN 192 

XII- PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY . 209 

XIII. METHODS OF WORK .... 234 

XIV. HINDRANCES . * 266 

XV. SPECIAL PROBLEMS .... 286 

XVI. TUB OUTLOOK * * 306 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Fuji SAN - Frontispiece 

A BRIDGE SCENE . To face page 16 

A KITCHEN SCENE .... *' " 79 

HARA-KIRI " " 85 

A SHINTO TEMPLE .... " " 124 

A BUDDHIST PRIEST . . , ** " 126 

A BUDDHIST CEMETERY . ** " 129 

THE AUTHOR'S HOME . * . . *" " aio 

JlKWKISHAS < 344 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 

THE empire of Japan consists of a chain of 
islands lying off the east coast of Asia, and ex- 
tending all the way from Kamchatka in the north 
to Formosa in the south. Its length is more 
than 1500 miles, while the width of the main- 
lands varies from 100 to 200 miles. The entire 
area, exclusive of Formosa, recently acquired, is 
146,000 square miles just about equal to that 
of the two Dakotas or the United Kingdom of 
England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. On this 
territory, at the beginning of the year 1893, there 
lived 41,089,940 souls. 

The country is divided into four large islands 
and more than two thousand smaller ones. The 
larger ones are named respectively Hondo, Kyu- 
shu, Shikoku, and Yezo, Of these the first 
named is by far the largest and most important 
This island originally had no separate name, but 





10 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

in recent years it is very generally called Hondo. 
Western geographers have frequently made the 
mistake of applying the term "Nihon" to it; 
but "Nihon" is the native name for the whole 
empire, and not for its chief island. The capital, 
Tokyo, the ancient capital, Kyoto, and the com- 
mercial center, Osaka, are all situated on this 
island. 

Kyushu is the second largest island in the 
group, and lies southwest of the main island. It 
was on this island, in the town of Nagasaki, that 
the Dutch lived for more than two hundred years, 
forming the only means of communication Japan 
had with the outside world. 

Shikoku is next in size. It lies south of Hondo 
and northeast of Kyushu. Shikoku and Kyushu 
are separated from the main island by the Inland 
Sea, one of the most beautiful bodies of water in 
the world. 

The island of Yezo is in the extreme north, 
It has very cold winters and resembles the cen- 
tral part of North America somewhat in climate 
and productions. On this island the aborigines 
of Japan, called Ainu, now live. 

Among the more important of the smaller 
groups are the Liukiu Islands, in the extreme 
south; the Goto Islands, in the west; and the 
Kuriles, in the north. Besides these there are 
numerous other islands of considerable size lying 



THE LAND OP JAPAN 11 

around the coasts, and the whole Inland Sea is 
beautifully dotted with them. 

Japan is a very mountainous country. For 
this reason hardly twelve per cent, of her total 
area is cultivated. In general the land gradually 
ascends on both sides as it recedes from the 
ocean, at first forming hills and table-lands, and 
then huge mountains. Thus a chain of moun- 
tains is formed in the center of the islands, 
extending throughout the whole length of the 
empire. The mountains are nearly all of volcanic 
origin, which accounts for their jagged appear- 
ance. There are many active volcanoes, con- 
tinually sending up great clouds of smoke, and 
occasionally emitting streams of fire and molten 
lava, deluging the whole neighborhood with sul- 
phur and ashes. One of the first sights that 
greets the traveler from the West as he approaches 
Japan is the smoke of a volcano, ever active, on 
Vries Island, in the entrance to Yokohama har- 
bor. The chief volcanoes active at present are 
Asama, Shirane-san, Bandai-san, Aso-san, and 
Koma-ga-take. I shall never forget the ascent 
of Asama at night, in 1894. The volcano had 
been unusually active recently, and a large part 
of the crater had fallen in, completely changing 
its appearance. The sulphurous vapors and 
smoke came up so thick and fast that we dared 
not approach near the crater for fear of suffoca- 



12 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

tion. At that time we could not see down into 
the crater at all, but occasionally one can see the 
blue-red flames curling and writhing far down in 
the bowels of the earth like a sea of fire, a veri- 
table gate of hell. 

Of extinct volcanoes Japan boasts a large num- 
ber. The mightiest of these is the peerless Fuji- 
san, the pride of every Japanese, the highest 
mountain in Japan. It is 12,365 feet high, and 
snow is found on its summit at all seasons. This 
mountain is now a huge pile of ashes, lava, and 
boulders apparently harmless. As late as 1708 
it was in eruption, and when I stood on its snowy 
summit in August, 1893, there were certain places 
where vapors hot enough to cook an egg came 
up from the ground. For aught we know, it may 
at any time burst forth again and devastate whole 
provinces. 

This is a land of earthquakes. The records 
show that from earliest times this country has 
been subject to great ruin by their visitations. 
Whole villages and towns have been suddenly 
swallowed up, and huge mountains have disap- 
peared in a day. These earthquakes are of 
frequent occurrence. The seismic Instruments 
now in use throughout the empire record about 
three hundred and sixty-five per year one for 
each day. Certain localities are much more 
exposed to them than others, although none is 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 13 

entirely free from them. These disturbances are 
very destructive of life and property, especially 
injuring railways, bridges, and high buildings. 
They have left their mark upon the whole coun- 
try. Through the effect of volcanoes and earth- 
quakes together, the surface of Japan presents an 
appearance seldom seen in any other land. 

The forces of nature are unusually destructive 
in Japan. Besides the volcanoes and earthquakes, 
the country is subject to occasional tidal waves, 
which kill thousands of people and destroy mil- 
lions of dollars' worth of property. Impelled by 
some mighty force, the great sea rises in its bed 
mountain high, and, angrily breaking out of its 
accustomed bounds, sweeps everything before 
it. While I am writing this chapter (June, 1896) 
news has come of one of the most destruc- 
tive waves known here for decades, which has 
just swept over the north coast of Hondo. More 
than 30,000 people were killed instantly, and 
great destruction wrought to property. So ter- 
rible is nature in her fiercer aspects! 

Japan being a very narrow country, her rivers 
are short and small, few of them being service- 
able for navigation. Ordinarily they are quiet, 
lazy streams, but when the heavy rains fall in 
the mountains, the waters sweep down like a 
flood, swelling these rivers to huge size and con- 
verting them into fierce, angry torrents. The 



14 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

Tone-gawa is the longest and widest river, but 
its length is only 1 70 miles. Other important ones 
are the Shinano-gawa, the Kiso-gawa, and the 
Kitakami. A peculiar feature about these rivers 
is that none of them bears the same name from 
source to mouth, but all change their name in 
nearly every province. 

There are few lakes of importance. The larg- 
est is Lake Biwa, near Kyoto ; it is 50 miles long, 
and 20 wide at its widest point. Lake Inawa- 
shiro is of considerable size. Lake Chuzcnji, at 
the foot of Nantai-zan, is unrivaled for beauty, 
and is hardly surpassed in any land. Hakone is 
also a beautiful lake, and the reflection of Fuji- 
san in its waters by moonlight is a sight well 
worth seeing. Indeed, the whole of Japan 
abounds in picturesque landscapes and scenic 
beauty. Mountain scenes rivaling those of 
Switzerland; clear, placid lakes, in which the 
image of sky and mountains blends ; and smiling, 
fertile valleys, heavily laden with fruits and grain, 
make the landscape one of surpassing beauty. 
Few countries are more pleasing to the eye than 
is Japan. 

The coasts are indented by many bays and 
inlets, affording fine h "bors. The seas are very 
deep and often wild and stormy. The islands 
are favorably located for commercial enterprises, 
and the Japanese are by nature destined to be a 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 1$ 

maritime people. As regards situation and har- 
bors, there is a striking resemblance to England. 
The two countries are of nearly equal size, they 
both are insular powers, and are situated about 
equidistant from a great continent. It is safe to 
assume that Japan's development will be along 
Hues somewhat similar to England's. 

There is a good system of roads. The moun- 
tain roads are carefully graded ; hollows are filled 
up and ridges cut through in such a manner as 
we employ only for railroads. Indeed, some of 
the roads are so carefully graded that ties and 
rails could be laid on them almost without any 
further modification. Many of them are as 
straight as the engineer's art can make them. A 
new road was built recently from Saga to the 
small seaport town of Wakatsu, and between the 
two towns it is as direct as a bee-line. This road 
crosses a river just at the junction of two streams. 
The fork of the river lay exactly in the path of 
the road ; by slightly swerving to either the right 
or the left a bridge half the length of the present 
one would have sufficed, but the long, costly 
bridge was built rather than have the road swerve 
from its course even a little. 

In the plains most of the roads are elevated 
three or four feet above the surrounding fields. 
They are not macadamized, but are covered with 
large, coarse gravel known &&jari. When this 



16 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

jari is first spread on, the roads are almost im- 
passable, but it soon becomes beaten down and 
makes a good road. Unfortunately, it must be 
applied nearly every year. 

Some of the chief highways are very old. The 
most famous is the Tokaido, extending from the 
old capital, Kyoto, the seat of the imperial court, 
to the city of Yedo (now called Tokyo), the scat 
of the shogun's government. It was over this 
road that the ancient daimios of the western prov- 
inces used to journey, with gorgeous pageantry 
and splendid retinues, to the shogun's court- 

Some highways are lined on either side with 
tall cryptomeria and other trees, giving a de- 
lightful shade and making of them beautiful 
avenues. The most beautiful of these is the road 
approaching Nikko. This is said to be lined on 
both sides with rows of magnificent cedars ami 
pines for a distance of 40 miles. 

The bridges add a great deal to the peculiar 
beauty of the landscape. They are substantial, 
beautiful structures, generally built in the shape 
of an arch, and are of stone, bricks, or wood, 
The Japanese are very careful about bridges, and 
little streams across foot-paths, where in America 
one sees at best only a plank or log, are here 
carefully bridged. The bridge called Nihon- 
bashi, in Tokyo, is said to be the center of the 
empire, the point at which all roads converge. 




8 

oo 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 17 

Japan Is a land in which the rural population 
largely predominates. Most of the people live in 
the villages and small towns. But in recent years 
a process similar to that going on in America has 
set in, and large numbers of the rural classes are 
drifting into the cities. 

The chief city is Tokyo, with a population of 
1,323,295. Being now the home of the emperor 
and the seat of government, it is held in much 
reverence by the people. In popular parlance 
this city is exalted on a pedestal of honor, and 
the people speak of " ascending to " or " descend- 
ing from " it. It is really a fine city, with broad, 
clean streets and many splendid buildings, and has 
been called the " city of magnificent distances." 
One can travel almost a whole day and not get 
outside the city limits. It was formerly called 
Yedo, but when the emperor removed his court 
hither after the Restoration its name was changed 
to Tokyo. The term means " east capital/' The 
city has enjoyed a marvelous growth and is to- 
day a vigorous, active place. It 'has many of 
the conveniences of modern Western cities, such 
as electric lights, water-works, tram-cars, tele- 
phones, etc. 

Kyoto is the ancient capital, the place where 
the mikados lived in secluded splendor for so 
many centuries. It was the most magnificent 
city of old Japan, and many highly cherished 



18 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

national memories and traditions cluster around 
it. The old classical Japanese, to whom the 
ancient regime is far superior to the present, 
still lingers fondly in thought round its sacred 
temples, shrines, and groves. When the imperial 
court was removed to Tokyo the name of Kyoto 
was changed to Saikyo, a term meaning " west 
capital." Western geographers frequently have 
been guilty of the error of calling this city * f Mi- 
yako " ; but that has never been the city's name, 
and is simply the Japanese word for " capital." 
Kyoto is a beautiful, prosperous city, with a 
population of 328,354. 

Osaka is the commercial center. It is a city 
of manufactories, and nearly all native articles of 
merchandise bear the mark, " Made in Osaka/ 1 
As a business center this city surpasses all others 
in the empire. It is centrally located, at the head 
of Osaka Bay, about 20 miles from the open port 
of Kobe. Here we find the imperial mint, with 
long rows of splendid buildings. The population 
13494,314. 

The next largest city is Nagoya, with a popu- 
lation of 206,742. Other prominent cities are: 
Hiroshima, 91,985; Okayama, 52,360; Kana~ 
gawa, 89,975 ; Kagoshima, SS,49S etc. 

There are seven open ports in which foreigners 
reside at present and engage in commerce. In 
the order of importance they are : Tokyo, popu- 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 19 

lation 1,323,295; Osaks, 494,3 H; Yokohama, 
160,439; Kobe, 150,993; Nagasaki, 67,481; 
Hakodate, 66,333; Niigata, 50,300. Formerly 
Nagasaki was in the lead, but now has fallen to 
the fifth place. It is probable that other ports 
will be opened to foreign trade in the near future, 

Climate 

As Japan is so long a country, she has every 
variety of climate. In the northern provinces, 
and especially on the northwest coast, it is ex- 
tremely cold in winter, and snow falls in such 
quantities as practically to stop all kinds of busi- 
ness. In Formosa and Liukiu there is perpetual 
summer. That part of Japan in which the West 
is most interested, and about which it knows most, 
which is far the most important portion of the 
empire, has a mild, damp climate, free from 
great extremes of either heat or cold. Each 
winter snow falls frequently, but it is seldom 
known to lie on the ground for more than a few 
hours at a time. Cold frosts are rare. Judged 
by the thermometer, the summers are no warmer 
than those of the Carolinas or Tennessee, but 
their effect upon people of the West resident here 
is much more trying than the summers of those 
places. Various reasons are assigned for this. 
Physicians are well aware that humidity affects 



20 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

health for good or bad as much as temperature* 
In considering the healthfulness of a climate, not 
only is the temperature to be taken into account, 
but the amount of moisture in the air must also 
be considered. Now, in Japan there is so exces- 
sive an amount of moisture in the atmosphere 
that it makes the heat exceedingly depressing. 

The presence of this dampness makes it very 
hard to keep things clean and free from rust 
and mold. Sewing-machines, bicycles, scissors, 
knives, and such things have to be watched care- 
fully and oiled. Carpets, clothing, shoes, etc., 
have to be sunned well and then shut up in air- 
tight boxes during the summer season. Often a 
single night is sufficient to make a pair of shoes 
white with mold. Were it only on the machines 
and clothing that the dampness and mold settle, 
it would not be so bad; but we feel that this 
same clammy mold is going down into our very 
bones and marrow, gradually sapping their vigor 
and strength. 

Besides this great excess of moisture in the 
atmosphere, there are other reasons why the cli- 
mate is so debilitating. One of these is the lack 
of ozone. This element is known to be one of 
the greatest atmospheric purifiers, and also to 
have a very invigorating and stimulating effect 
upon mind and body. The proportion of ozone 
in the atmosphere of Japan is only about one 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 21 

third as great as that in the atmosphere of most 
Western countries. 

The proportion of electricity in the atmosphere 
is also thought to be much below the average. 
While not much is known in regard to the effect 
of atmospheric electricity upon the healthfulness 
of a country, it is generally believed by scientific 
and medical men that the proportion of electricity 
in the air has much to do with our physical well- 
being. 

These three factors, viz., too much moisture, 
not enough ozone, and not enough electricity, are 
named as the chief causes which conduce to make 
the climate depressing and enervating to people 
from the West We missionaries have neither 
the energy nor the strength to do here what we 
could do at home, and after a five or six years' 
residence, to do effective work must be permitted 
to recuperate in the home lands. 

The rainfall is far above the average of most 
countries. Two thirds of the annual downpour 
falls during the six months from April to Octo- 
ber. The rainy season proper begins early in 
June and lasts about six weeks. At this season 
it sometimes rains for weeks consecutively. This 
year (1896) during the rainy season we did not 
once get a sight of the sun for at least three 
weeks. The amount of rain varies greatly from 
year to year, as also in different localities. 



22 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

Notwithstanding the heavy rainfall, bright, 
sunny days are far in excess of dark, rainy ones. 
Clear, balmy skies are the rule rather than the 
exception. There is a softness and delicacy about 
Japanese skies rare in America, but common in 
European countries bordering on the Mediterra- 
nean Sea. 

Japanese winds are irregular and violent, and 
subject to sudden changes. During three months 
of the year the dreaded typhoons are expected, 
and once or twice each year great damage is 
done by them. These typhoons generally blow 
from the southwest. They often sweep houses, 
forests, and everything else before them, their 
wake being a mass of ruins. In fair weather, on 
the sea-shore, there is a gentle land- and sea- 
breeze in summer. 

Prodttctions 

Japan is blessed with a fertile soil, capable of 
bearing a variety of products. By centuries of 
the most careful fertilization and irrigation (arts 
in which the Japanese are adepts) the land has 
been brought to a very high state of cultivation, 
One of the peculiar things to the people of the 
W^st is the manner in which the fields are irri- 
gated. Nearly all the land under cultivation can 
be freely watered at the will of the cultivator. 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 23 

Streams and canals everywhere wind in and out 
through the plains and round the hills, making 
easy the irrigation of all arable lands. 

A striking feature of the farming is the man- 
ner of terracing the sides of the hills and moun- 
tains. These are not cultivated in their natural 
state, as in America, but stone walls are built at 
regular gradations on the mountain-sides, and 
the soil dug down until level with the tops of the 
walls. Arranged in this way a mountain-side 
looks not unlike a huge stairway, and lends beauty 
to the landscape. 

The land here is not divided into large farms, 
as is usual in the West. Most of the farms are 
very small. One never sees a field of ten or fif- 
teen acres, but little plots hardly as large as our 
vegetable gardens. The cultivation is mostly 
done by hand, the women laboring In the fields 
with their husbands and brothers. The imple- 
ments in general use are very rude. Plows are 
used, but they are roughly made of wood, with 
an iron point attached, and do poor work. Nearly 
all the cultivating is done with a hoe, the blade 
of which is almost as long as the handle, and is 
attached to it at an angle of less than forty-five 
degrees, making it an awkward thing to use. All 
grains are harvested and threshed by hand. The 
land being so fertile, the yield is large. 

In enumerating the products of their country, 



24 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the native writers usually begin with the 
or five cereals wheat, rice, millet, beans, and 
sorghum. Fine crops of wheat are grown, es- 
pecially in the southern provinces. Perhaps no 
country in the world produces better rice or a 
greater quantity per acre. One half of all the 
land under cultivation is used in the production 
of rice. 

Green grasses are remarkably rare in Japan, 
and the soil does not seem to be adapted to their 
growth. Long plains of green meadow- and 
pasture-lands, so pleasing to the eye in home 
landscapes, are never seen. Almost the only 
grass in the empire is the long, coarse grass that 
grows on the hills and mountains. 

Corn and oats are met with rarely. The cul- 
tivation of corn is now being introduced in the 
northern provinces, however, and will probably 
soon become more general Hemp and cotton 
both flourish. The cotton does not grow as 
large or yield as bountifully as it does in our own 
Southern States, but a very good crop is raised 
each year. There is a large variety of vegetables, 
such as turnips, pumpkins, radishes, beets, carrots, 
potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, etc. 

Japan produces a great variety of fruits and 
berries. We can have fresh fruit all the year 
round. Some of the more prominent are or- 
anges, persimmons, figs, apricots, pears, peaches, 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 25 

plums, loquats, grapes, etc. As a rule the fruit 
is inferior to that of the West, but the oranges, 
persimmons, and figs are excellent. 

Until comparatively recent years apples were 
unknown here, but now they are being rapidly 
introduced and successfully cultivated. They 
are grown only in the northern provinces, the 
southern soil not being well adapted to them. 

For bright, gay flowers Japan can hardly be 
excelled. At certain seasons the whole country 
resembles an immense garden. The crysanthe- 
mum is the national flower, and magnificent 
specimens of it are grown. The cherry blossoms 
are universal favorites, and when they are at their 
best the whole population turns out to see them. 
Lotus flowers are highly prized, and in our city 
of Saga there is an old castle moat, 200 or 300 
yards wide and more than I mile long, filled with 
them, which in July and August is a sea of large 
red-and-white blossoms, beautiful to behold. 
The hills and valleys abound in wild flowers, but 
the natives seem to prize them less than the cul- 
tivated ones. In recent years Western flowers 
are being extensively cultivated, and most of 
them do well Flowers that must be carefully 
housed and nursed in America, such as geraniums, 
fuchsias, etc., will grow all the year in the open 
in Japan. Some one only partially acquainted 
with Japan has said that the flowers have no 



26 7Kb GIST OF JAPAN 

odor, but this is not true; they are, however, 
less fragrant than those of the West. 

There is no country in the East so well supplied 
with useful timber. On the island of Yezo alone 
there are thirty-six varieties of useful timber- 
trees, including the most useful of all trees, the 
oak. These vast forests as yet are untouched 
practically, and the whole of the Hokkaido is 
one huge lumber-yard. The main island, Kyu- 
shu, and Shikoku are also well timbered. But 
the demand for building material, fire-wood, and 
charcoal is so great that rapid inroads are being 
made upon the supply of timber. Unless a more 
thorough system of forestry is adopted the sup- 
ply will some day be exhausted. The mulberry - 
tree flourishes, and immense tracts of land are 
given to its cultivation. The fruit is not used, but 
the leaves are highly valuable in silk culture. 
Lacquer-trees also abound, from which a con- 
siderable revenue is derived. 

The camphor-supply of the world is almost 
entirely in the hands of Japan. Magnificent 
camphor-trees are growing over all southern 
Japan, and in the newly acquired territory of 
Formosa there are large groves of them. The 
camphor industry is a lucrative one, and happy 
is the man who possesses a few trees. Within a 
few yards of my former home in Saga, on a little 
strip of waste land, there were four camphor-trees 
which sold, standing, for $2000, silver. 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 27 

This account would be very incomplete with- 
out a notice of the bamboo, which grows in large 
quantities over all the empire. In the northern 
provinces it is only a small shrub ; in the southern 
it grows to a large tree. The uses to which it is 
put are innumerable, and the people hardly could 
do without it. 

The chief articles of foreign export produced 
in Japan are silk, tea, and rice. Silk is produced 
throughout the country, with the exception of 
the island of Yezo, but the best yielding dis- 
tricts are in the center and north of the main 
island. The Japanese cocoon seems to be equally 
as good as the European, but the methods of 
manufacturing are not yet up to the highest 
standard; for this reason Japanese silks are 
hardly as good as those of France or Italy. The 
annual export of silk is worth to Japan about 
$30,000,000. 

Second only to silk in importance among ex- 
ports is tea. Most of it is shipped by foreign 
merchants to America, Chinese and Indian teas 
being more popular in Europe. About 40,000,- 
ooo pounds are annually exported. The quan- 
tity consumed at home must be very great, at 
least equal to that sent abroad. 

The foreign trade in rice is large, and is in- 
creasing continually. Japanese rice is far bet- 
ter than that grown in India or Burmah, and is 
esteemed highly in European markets. Formerly 



28 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the government exported the rice, as it levied 
taxes in rice and hence had great stores of it; 
but this practice has been discontinued. Native 
merchants are now taking up this branch of the 
export trade and are pushing it with vigor. The 
value of the export varies very much each year, 
in accordance with the crop produced. 

Japan is not only rich and fertile, yielding 
the greatest variety of products, but she is also 
endowed with great mineral wealth. Kaempf er, in 
the first history of Japan given to the West, enu- 
merates the minerals thus : sulphur, gold, silver, 
copper, tin, iron, coal, salt, agates, jasper, pearls, 
naphtha, ambergris, etc. Coal of fairly good 
quality is present in great quantities in many parts 
of the empire. Much of it is sold to the foreign 
steamers that call here on their way to China. 
The export of copper amounts to more than 
$5,000,000 per year. Iron, chiefly In the form 
of magnetic oxide, is present along the sea-coast 
and in the diluvium of rivers. As yet the iron 
resources have not been developed. Gold and 
silver are present in many places, but the mines 
have never been worked to very great advantage. 
Large quantities of salt are made from sea- water. 
Traces of petroleum are found in several locali- 
ties, but not much has yet been made of it. The 
great mineral wealth of Japan as yet is developed 
only partially. 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 29 



Animals 

The fauna is represented generally as very 
meager, but this is an injustice. A large portion 
of the animals now found here may have been 
imported, but, taking Japan as we find her to- 
day, animals are abundant. 

Horses and oxen are the beasts of burden, and 
are found everywhere. The horses are smaller 
than those of the West, and are not so gentle, 
though very sure-footed and hardy. An effort 
is now being made to improve the breed by im- 
porting American and Australian horses. Native 
oxen do most of the carrying and plowing. 
Strange to say, the oxen are gentler and more 
manageable than the horses. There are very few 
sheep, and it seems that the country is not adapted 
to them. Almost the only sheep I have seen 
here were in menageries, caged, along with lions, 
bears, etc. Pigs are found, but the people are 
not fond of their flesh, and consequently not 
many are raised. 

Domestic animals are plentiful, such as cats, 
dogs, ducks, geese, chickens, etc. Many of the 
cats have no tails, and the people are prejudiced 
against cats that have tails. If one happens to 
be born with a tail they will probably cut it off. 
Turkeys are scarce. 



3V) THE CIST OP JAPAN 

There are many wild animals, such as bears, 
wild boars, deer, monkeys, tanuki> wild dogs, 
foxes, and hares. The people are fond of the 
chase, but, as large game is rare, the opportunity 
to indulge this taste is very limited. 

Among the wild birds are found herons, cranes, 
ducks, geese, pheasants, pigeons, storks, falcons, 
hawks, ravens, woodcocks, crows, and a small 
bird, called uquisu, resembling the nightingale. 
The stork and the heron are perhaps most popu- 
lar, and have been pictured in all kinds of native 
art. Wild geese and ducks spend the summer 
in Yezo and the winter in Hondo. Singing birds 
are rare, but not, as some have affirmed, unknown. 

The seas surrounding Japan, and her numerous 
bays and rivers, are teeming with animal life, and 
for multitude and variety of edible fish are per- 
haps unsurpassed by any in the world. Salmon, 
cod, mackerel, herring, bait, tai, and other small 
fish are very abundant, so much so that in many 
places they are used as a fertilizer. From time 
immemorial fish have formed a prominent part 
of the daily diet of the people. Whales are 
numerous on the shores of Kyushu and the 
southern shores of Hondo, where they are taken 
by means of harping-irons or darts. Quantities 
of oil are extracted from them, and their flesh is 
much relished for food. 

The foregoing account -will perhaps give the 



THE LAND OF JAPAN 31 

reader some idea of the nature, extent, climate, 
and products of the land of Japan. With a 
fertile soil, rich deposits of minerals, a genial 
climate, and a landscape unsurpassed, surely this 
is a country highly favored by Heaven. How 
sacl to think that those to whom God has given 
so much know so little of Him! How one's heart 
bleeds to see God's beautiful handiwork all marred 
and stained by images and idols, and that praise 
which the people so justly owe Him given to 
gods of wood and stone! But such is the case 
in Japan to-day. The people know that they 
are indebted to some higher power for innumer- 
able blessings, but they do not know that this 
power is the God whom we preach to them. 



II 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 

NOTHING definite is known concerning the ori- 
gin of the Japanese people. Some authorities 
think that the southern portion of Japan was first 
peopled by sailors and fishermen from Malay, 
who were drifted thither by the strong current 
of the Black Stream. That this has happened to 
shipwrecked sailors in the present time is cited 
In confirmation of this view. 

Some of the northern islands are within sight 
of the mainland, and it is possible that tribes from 
northern Asia made their way across the narrow 
seas and settled there. Ethnological and philo- 
logical evidence indicates that some immigrants 
came over from Korea, which they could easily 
have done, as the southern part of Korea Is very 
near. 

If these suppositions are true, two races mingled 
in Japan the Malay from the south and the 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 33 

Mongol from the west and the Japanese people 
are the joint product of the two. But there is 
no certain information regarding these immigra- 
tions, and we cannot affirm them as historic facts. 

Two of the greatest authorities on this subject, 
Baelz and Rein, affirm that the Japanese are of 
Mongol origin. Dr. Baelz supposes that there 
were two chief streams of immigration from 
northern and central Asia by way of Korea, The 
immigrants gradually spread eastward and north- 
ward and settled in the land, becoming the pro- 
genitors of the present inhabitants. 

It is historically certain that some Chinamen 
and Koreans have settled in Japan and contrib- 
uted toward the production of the Japanese race ; 
both Chinese and Japanese histories contain ac- 
counts of such immigration; but it is likely that 
settlers were already here long before these, of 
whom we have historic accounts, arrived. 

This problem is made more difficult by the fact 
that there are two separate and distinct races here 
the Japanese and the Ainu. The latter do not 
appear to be Mongols. The Japanese call them 
the aborigines. When they entered Japan, and 
where they came from, is not known. There is 
very little intermixing of these two races. The 
Japanese have gradually forced the Ainu back to 
the northern island, just as the settlers in the 
United States have driven back the Indians. Ef- 



34= THE GIST OF JAPAN 

forts are being made lately to better the condition 
of this race, but they do not meet with much 
success. The Ainu appear to have little capacity 
for civilization, and the race is rapidly becoming 
extinct. 

So much for the origin of the people. We 
will endeavor to treat their history, very briefly, 
under three heads : mythology, mythological his- 
tory, and reliable history. 

Japanese Mythology 

Although we of the West are perplexed as to 
the origin of the Japanese, the national records 
give what has been a very clear and satisfactory 
account of this. Hence I have included a very 
brief statement of this native account of the origin 
of the Japanese people under the head of history, 
although it is pure mythology, 

Japanese history teaches that in the beginning 
all things were chaos. There was no Creator, 
and no First Cause of the universe. There was 
merely a cosmic mass. By and by the ethereal 
matter sublimed and formed the heavens; what 
remained formed the earth, From the warm 
mold of the earth sprang up a germ which became 
a self-animate being the first of the gods. Then 
four other gods were generated^ all sexless and 
self-begotten. These gods separated the pri- 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 35 

mordial substance into the five elements of wood, 
fire, metal, earth, and water, and gave to each its 
properties. The last of these spontaneous divine 
generations were a brother and a sister, named 
Izanagi and Izanami. Uniting in marriage, they 
became the parents of the various islands of Japan 
and of gods and goddesses innumerable. Iza- 
nami died when giving birth to the god of fire. 
Her divine consort afterward visits her in the 
lower regions to induce her to return to him. 
She would fain do so, but must first consult the 
gods of the place. Going to ask counsel of them, 
she does not return, and Izanagi, impatient at 
her tarrying, goes in search of her. He finds 
her a mass of putrefaction, in the midst of which 
the eight thunder-gods are sitting. 

Disappointed in his hope, he returns to Japan 
and purifies himself by bathing in a stream. As 
he bathes new gods are born from his clothing 
and from each part of his body. The sun-god- 
dess was born from his left eye, the moon-god 
from his right eye, and Susanoo, the last of all, 
was born from his nose. What a prolific breeder 
of gods was he! 

The mythology goes on relating, tale after tale, 
the absurd actions of these gods residing together 
for several generations in Japan, the center of 
the universe, frequently visiting both heaven and 
hell, and performing all kinds of miraculous feats. 



36 THE GIST OP JAPAN 

In native history this period is called the " period 
of the gods." About six generations after Izanagi 
and Izanami, in the direct line of descent from 
them, the first human emperor of Japan was 
born. His name was Kamu-Yamato-Ihare-Biko, 
posthumously called Jimmu Tenno. 

Those Japanese to whose minds the problem 
of the origin of the outside nations ever occurred 
solved it in this fashion: the barbarian nations 
must likewise have descended from the mikado, 
the son of heaven, in very remote times, but have 
wandered off and are now far from the divine 
source. The Japanese, being still under the pro- 
tection of their divine father, are very much nearer 
in the line of descent, and hence are the first race 
in the world. 

Thus they trace their descent direct to the 
gods, and their emperor is to this day considered 
the divine father of his people. It is a pity we 
cannot join with them in accepting this easy solu- 
tion of the difficult problem of their origin. 

Mythological History 

By this term I would designate that period in 
Japanese history in which mythology and history 
are so blended as to be inseparable. For almost 
one thousand years records purporting to be his- 
torical are so intermingled with that which is 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 37 

purely mythological as to make it next to impos- 
sible to discriminate between them. 

Japanese historians claim that the authentic 
history of their country dates from the time of 
Jimmu Tenno (600 B.C.), and the national records 
are unbroken from that time to the present. Most 
European and American historians have accepted 
these records as true, and yet critical scholars here 
feel bound to reject them. The oldest Japanese 
histories were not written until the eighth century 
A. D., and it does not seem probable that traditions 
handed down by word of mouth for more than a 
thousand years would be reliable. The records 
themselves are contradictory and self- refuting. 
Contemporary Chinese and Korean history, in 
which are frequent references to the "land of 
Wa," i.e., Japan, does not agree with the Japa- 
nese records, which bear evidence of having been 
written for a purpose other than a true statement 
of historical facts. These and other reasons have 
led Messrs. Asion and Chamberlain, the scholars 
who have studied this subject perhaps more than 
any others, to conclude that Japanese records 
prior to the date 461 A.D. are unreliable. 

This period in dispute (from 600 B.C. to 461 
A.D.) I have designated the period of mythologi- 
cal history. Even in the Japanese so-called his- 
tories the mythology for centuries is narrated 
along with that which claims to be genuine his- 



38 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

tory; the gods still mingle with men and take 
part in their affairs. The legends of the gods 
and those of the emperors are given side by side 
in the same book, and as much credence attaches 
to the one as to the other. 

Orthodox Shinto scholars, while recognizing' 
the fact of the parallelism of the mythology and 
the history, inconsistently reject the mythological 
legends of the gods while strenuously holding to 
those relating to the emperors. My own opinion 
is that most of the important events related in the 
records during this period had some basis in fact, 
but that the accounts of them are exaggerated 
and perverted. 

Commencing with the period which native his- 
torians assign as the beginning of authentic his- 
tory, the first important event we find is the ac- 
cession of Jimmu Tenno to the throne (600 B.C.). 
But the very existence of Jimmu Tenno as an 
historical personage is not at all certain. The 
evidence adduced has never been sufficient to 
satisfy Western scholars, although the Japanese 
would consider it almost treason to disbelieve 
in him. 

Japanese histories for this period are very mea- 
ger. They consist, for the most part, of a recital 
of the names and ages of the mikados, with per- 
haps a sentence or two concerning the state of 
the country during their reigns. 

One of the most important events noted in 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 39 

this early period is the subjugation of Korea by 
the Empress Jingo. She is said to have collected 
a large army, and, by the help of the fishes great 
and small, and of favorable winds and currents, to 
have crossed over into Korea in small junks, and 
completely subjugated the country, reducing it 
to the position of a tributary state. The Japanese 
firmly believe this story, and are proud of the 
early success of their arms in this foreign war. 
Korean records justify us in assuming that Japa- 
nese influence was predominant in Korea at this 
time, but the story of the Empress Jingo, espe- 
cially in its details, must be received with cau- 
tion. She is perhaps an historical personage, but 
whether she invaded Korea or not is doubtful. 

The next event of importance in the records 
is the introduction of Chinese art, science, and 
learning, which took place in the early centuries 
of the Christian era, and exerted an incalculable 
influence upon the people of Japan. Learning, 
religion, philosophy, literature, laws, ethics, medi- 
cine, art all were brought over bodily. From this 
time forward the Japanese were largely students 
and imitators of China. Korea was the medium 
through which these continental influences were 
transmitted. With the introduction of learning 
and literature historical records began to be kept 
over all Japan, and oral tradition was no longer 
relied upon. From this time the authentic history 
of Japan begins, 



40 THE CIST OF JAPAN 



Reliable History 

Chamberlain, Aston, and others agree that the 
first trustworthy date in Japanese history is 461 
A.D,, and that for the succeeding century too 
much confidence must not be placed in details. 
This disproves the pretty stories told by the 
Japanese, and by many Western writers as well, 
as to the great age of this nation, and its unbroken 
line of emperors extending at least as far back as 
600 B.C. ; but it is not the first time that pretty 
theories have been rudely broken up by an in- 
vestigation of facts. The imperial line is prob- 
ably as old as that of the popes, but hardly older. 
Japan, in fact and in authentic history, is younger 
than Christianity. Her existence as a state began 
about the time of the fall of the Roman empire. 

With the year 461 historical events and per- 
sonages appear, and, in the main, we may accept 
the history from this time forward as accurate. 

About the middle of the sixth century began 
one of the most important processes in Japanese 
history the conversion of the nation to Bud- 
dhism. For some centuries previous Chinese 
learning and arts had been gradually filtering into 
Japan ; but they had not as yet gained general 
acceptance. The Buddhist priests brought Chi- 
nese civilization, and in the course of two cen- 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 41 

turies it spread over the country, influencing 
morality, politics, and everything. Sweeping 
changes were made in the government, which 
was then organized on the Chinese centralized 
plan. Arts, sciences, and literature flourished. 
This was the golden age of classical Japan. 

In the year 670 A.D. the great Fujiwara family 
came upon the stage. The mikados were in the- 
ory absolute rulers, but eventually they became 
mere figureheads. Their mode of life was not 
such as to make of them able rulers. Surrounded 
by an effeminate court, living in indolence and 
debauchery amid priests and court women, they 
were hardly competent to direct affairs. The 
emperor was often a mere child, who, when he 
grew up, either abdicated freely or was forced to 
abdicate the throne in favor of another child as 
weak as himself. The government was adminis- 
tered by the most powerful vassals. The great 
Fujiwara family held the affairs of state in its 
own hands from 670 to 1050 A.D. : all the im- 
portant posts were filled by its sons, while its 
daughters were married to the imbecile emperors. 

The next important event in Japanese history 
is the rise of feudalism. The warlike samurai 
classes, disgusted with this weak petticoat govern- 
ment, arose in arms and overthrew it. The great 
clans of Taira and Minamoto appeared and alter- 
nately held the reins of government for nearly 



42 THE GIST OF 

two centuries. Lawlessness and disorder pre- 
vailed. The leader who could command the 
most men and win the victory with his sword 
was master of the empire. All Japan became a 
military camp, the chieftains waging war against 
one another. Thus feudalism took its rise and 
prevailed for many centuries, powerfully affecting 
every form of thought and life, just as it did in 
Europe at a similar period. 

The Taira family was finally overthrown by 
the Minamotos, and the chief of the latter clan, 
Yoritomo, was raised to the supreme power. 
This man was the first to obtain from the im- 
perial court in Kyoto the title of " shogun " 
generally spoken of in the West as " tycoon/* 
From this time forward (1190-1867) the shogun 
was the real ruler of Japan, The mikado was still 
the theoretical head of the state, descendant of 
the sun-goddess, and fountain of all honor, but 
he lived in the retirement and seclusion of his 
court, never seen by his subjects, and all matters 
of government were attended to by the shogun* 
Yoritomo's descendants gradually degenerated, 
and were finally overthrown by the Ashikaga 
family. 

This powerful clan took charge of the govern- 
ment in 1338 and held it until 1565. It encour- 
aged literature and the arts, and the court became 
a center of elegance and refinement. Especially 



A BRIEf HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 43 

did the intricate tea ceremonies flourish at this 
time. This family became weak and effeminate 
finally, like its predecessors, and was overthrown. 

Japan was first discovered by Europeans prob- 
ably in 1542, when the Portuguese adventurer 
Mendez Pinto landed on her coasts. He brought 
the first definite information concerning her re- 
ceived in Europe, and his reports were so highly 
exaggerated that he was spoken of everywhere as 
(t mendacious Pinto." Soon after his visit numbers 
of Portuguese adventurers came, who were re- 
ceived warmly by the impressible people. With 
them came the Jesuits and the introduction of 
Christianity. The growth of Christianity, and 
the bloody persecutions it encountered, begin 
from this time. These interesting subjects will be 
treated in another chapter and hence are passed 
over here. 

During this period lived successively three of 
the greatest men in Japanese history Nobunaga, 
Hideyoshi, and lyeyasu. On these men devolved 
the tasks of breaking the power of the feudal lords 
and bringing them into more complete subjection 
to the shogun; of unifying the empire and of 
strengthening the central government. The plan 
was conceived by Nobunaga, begun by Hideyoshi, 
and completed by lyeyasu. The former was the 
friend and patron of the Christians, the two latter 
their bitter persecutors. 



44: THE GIST OF JAPAN 

After the rulers had succeeded In stamping out 
Christianity the country was closed to foreign 
influence, and for two hundred years remained 
hermetically sealed. Even shipwrecked foreign 
sailors found on her coasts were executed, and no 
Japanese was permitted to leave the country on 
pain of death. The only communication with the 
outside world reserved was through the Hol- 
landers, a small band of whom were permitted to 
reside at Nagasaki. Through them various arts 
and sciences, including medicine, were introduced. 

This calm seclusion was rudely broken in upon 
by the coming of Commodore Perry, in 1853- 
54, with his big guns. He came to establish 
treaties of commerce and trade, and to secure 
better treatment for American ships and sailors 
peaceably if possible, forcibly if necessary. Here 
it is needful, in the interests of truth, to disprove 
another pretty story, to the effect that Perry and 
his crew were very pious, godly men, and that 
they secured the concessions desired by peaceable 
methods by praying and singing psalms. The 
fact is that the concessions gained were forced 
from Japan by intimidation, by threats, and by a 
show of strength. Commodore Perry also used 
the same tactics in Liukiu. He effected his pur- 
pose, it is true, without using his guns, except for 
intimidation, but it is safe to say that he would 
not have accomplished it without them* 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 45 

The treaties then forced from the govern- 
ment were humiliating to Japan; for example, 
granting exterritoriality, by virtue of which for- 
eigners should live under their own consuls and 
in no sense be amenable to the laws of the land. 
Such concessions are demanded by civilized states 
of the uncivilized only, and their very existence 
implies inferiority. But nothing else was possible 
at that time, nor did Japan object 

The coming of Perry, and his forced opening 
of the country, marked the birth of new Japan, so 
different from the old, and the beginning of an era 
of unprecedented prosperity. The Japanese now 
recognize this, and speak of Perry as one of their 
greatest benefactors. 

During the years immediately preceding this 
there was a great revival of learning. A school 
of literati arose, which zealously studied the an- 
tiquities of its own country as opposed to the im- 
ported Chinese classics. A revival of Shinto sprang 
up, and with it grew again that great reverence 
and esteem for the ancient imperial line, the di- 
vine mikados, as against the upstart shoguns. In 
this way began the movement which ended in 
the revolution of 1868 and the overthrow of the 
shogunate. 

When Perry came the shogun's government 
was already tottering to its fall, and when this 
government made treaties with foreign countries, 



46 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

admitting the " barbarians " to this " land of the 
gods/' a loud cry arose against it over all the 
land. Finally the imperial court at Kyoto, 
prompted by the mighty daimios of Choshu, 
Satsuma, and Tosa, decided upon the abolition of 
the shogunate. The shogun himself submitted 
to the decree of the mikado, but many of his fol- 
lowers did not. The War of the Revolution en- 
sued, and after much fighting the imperial troops 
were victorious ; the shogunate was forever abol- 
ished, and the emperor once more took personal 
charge of the government. 

The literary party had triumphed. Buddhism 
was largely supplanted by Shinto ; the shogunate, 
which had admitted the foreigners, was abolished ; 
and the literati fondly supposed that the court 
would now expel the intruders, abolish the trea- 
ties, again shut up the country, and affairs would 
go on as in the " good old times. " But they were 
deceived. The mighty lords of Tosa, Satsuma, 
and Choshu now declared in favor of foreign in- 
tercourse and the adoption of European civiliza- 
tion. These princes were too powerful not to be 
heard. Their advice was heeded ; the foreigners 
were welcomed, the country was opened more and 
more, old abuses were corrected, and the Euro- 
peanization of Japan was begun. 

The reformation was ably assisted from the 
very quarter where we would expect to find it 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 47 

most bitterly opposed. The young and able 
emperor Mutsuhito, coming out of the obscurity 
which had enshrouded his ancestors for ages, and 
putting aside the traditions of centuries, ably 
seconded the efforts of his ministers in every re- 
form. The unparalleled progress during his long 
and enlightened reign is due in no small part to 
his wisdom and prudence. He has shown him- 
self a liberal, enlightened monarch, and I am sure 
that I express the sentiment of every friend of 
Japan in saying, Long live his Majesty Mutsuhito ! 
The reformation of the country, the assimilation 
of Western civilization and institutions, and the 
gradual opening and development of the empire 
have gone on uninterruptedly since the restoration 
of the emperor to the supreme power. 

In 1871 the daimiates were abolished and the 
old daimios retired to private life. Thus feudal- 
ism was at last broken up and the central govern- 
ment strengthened. In this same year the postal 
and telegraph systems were introduced and a 
mint was established. 

In 1889 the constitution was promulgated, 
whereby the people were given a voice in the 
government, and Japan became a constitutional 
monarchy, very much like Prussia or other Eu- 
ropean states. In this year local self-government 
was also established. In accordance with the 
constitution, the first Diet was opened in 1890. 



48 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

This highest legislative body in Japan resembles 
somewhat, in its organization and functions, the 
German Reichstag. 

One of the greatest recent events in Japanese 
history is the successful revision of the treaties. 
After the Restoration and the adoption of West- 
ern institutions and civilization, efforts were con- 
tinually being made to have these treaties re- 
vised on a basis more favorable to Japan; but 
these efforts were always defeated. Thus Japan 
was for many years forced to submit to treaties 
made long ago, which were good enough then, 
but are outgrown entirely now. No recognition 
whatever was made of her great progress during 
these thirty years, and the foreign powers still 
treated her as an inferior. This was unjust, and 
the people naturally chafed under it. Finally, 
by the wisdom and perseverance of the present 
Japanese statesmen, treaty revision has been se- 
cured on the basis of equality. By this revision 
she regains the concessions forced from her in 
former years. After the year 1900 all foreigners 
residing in Japan will become amenable to her 
laws ; exterritoriality will be abolished ; power to 
levy taxes upon imports within prescribed limits 
will be regained; and Japan will be recognized 
as an equal by the great powers of the West, In 
return for these concessions on the part of foreign 
powers, she gives liberty of residence and travel 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE 49 

in any part of the empire, and all privileges gen- 
erally accorded aliens in Western nations, except 
the right of ownership of land. We rejoice with 
Japan that justice has at last been accorded her, and 
that the treaties have been satisfactorily revised. 

A sketch of Japanese history would be incom- 
plete without some mention of the recent war 
with China. This war was especially interesting 
because it afforded the first opportunity Japan 
has had of trying her strength with her new arms. 
For years she has been to school to the Western 
nations; now she goes out to put into practice 
the lessons she has learned. Her fine army and 
navy, constructed after the most approved West- 
ern models, are tested for the first time. The re- 
sults are such as to more than satisfy Japan with 
her new equipment The story of her splendid 
success against a nation outnumbering her ten to 
one is familiar to all and need not be recounted. 

The war was a positive gain to Japan in many 
ways. Aside from the material gain in indemnity 
and the extension of her territory, it gave her 
an opportunity to demonstrate to the world the 
substantial progress she has made. Nothing else 
would have gained for her so much respect from 
Western powers as her prowess exhibited in this 
war. A demonstration of force and of ability to 
fight great battles is still regarded as a mark of 
progress and civilization. 



50 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

The war also helped to settle many troublesome 
Internal questions. Some feared the people would 
be so elated by their phenomenal success that 
their pride and arrogance would be unendurable. 
But it was not so. The Japanese expected to 
win from the beginning 1 , and were not surprised 
at the result. After the war was over they set- 
tled down to the even tenor of their ways as 
though nothing had happened. They have shown 
themselves as able to bear victory as to win it. 

Such is an all too brief account of the history 
of this interesting people. An acquaintance with 
the main facts of this history I thought necessary 
to enable American Christians rightly to appreci- 
ate the work of their missionaries in their efforts 
to plant the church in Japan. 



Ill 

JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 

IT is next to impossible for an alien to judge 
accurately the characteristics of a people. That 
a foreigner's interpretation of a nation's character, 
and of the moral influences that direct and mold 
its life, is apt to be imperfect and erroneous is 
now a recognized truth. An Englishman cannot 
understand a Frenchman, nor a Frenchman an 
Englishman. Even people so closely related as 
the English and Americans, with a common an- 
cestry, common history and traditions, a common 
speech, common laws, and a common faith, find 
great difficulty in properly understanding one 
another. The American essayist Emerson did 
not venture to write " English Traits " until he 
had visited England, mingled freely with the peo- 
ple, and familiarized himself with the manifold 
phases of English character ; and Bryce's excel- 
lent work on "The American Commonwealth/' ia 



52 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

which American characteristics are reflected more 
truly than they have been by any other English 
writer, did not see the light until its author had 
made frequent visits to the United States and had 
carefully studied his subject for seventeen years. 

If it is so hard to understand a kindred people, 
how much harder it is to understand a people so 
alien as the Japanese! Here the religion, lan- 
guage, manners and customs, and moral ideas are 
so different from our own that the task of por- 
traying the real characteristics of the race becomes 
a colossal one. It should be attempted only by 
men who have had years of practical experience 
with the people, who can read their language and 
look at things from their standpoint, and who 
bring to their task a loving sympathy with the 
people whose life they would portray. 

But nothing is more common than to meet 
with sweeping judgments on Japanese character 
by persons utterly incompetent to make them. 
Men who have perhaps never seen Japan sit 
in judgment upon her with a gusto unequaled. 
Globe-trotters, spending at most only a few 
weeks here, and necessarily learning nothing of 
the inner life of the people, have made most 
sweeping statements concerning the traits of 
national character, such as : " The Japanese are a 
nation of liars ;" " They are mere imitators, origi- 
nating nothing;" "They are fickle and quite 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 53 

unreliable ; " " Licentiousness is the most promi- 
nent trait in the national character/' etc. Now it 
is unnecessary to say that judgments formed in 
this way are worthless. Here, if anywhere, it be- 
hooves one to write only after careful study and 
observation, and even then to speak with caution. 

Physically the Japanese are inferior to the 
races of the West. They are shorter of stature 
and lighter of weight than Europeans or Ameri- 
cans. The upper part of their bodies is developed 
perhaps as fully as our own ; but the lower limbs 
have been so cramped by sitting on the floor for 
centuries that they are shorter and weaker. 
Their habits of life and their vegetable diet have 
combined to make of them a physically weak 
people. They age earlier than the races of the 
Occident. 

In color they do not differ much from the 
American Indians or the half-breeds of the South. 
There are two types of facial expression: the 
old samurai or noble classes have a long, narrow 
face, sharp nose, high, narrow forehead, and 
oblique eyes; the lower classes have fat, round, 
pudding faces, with broad mouths and flat noses. 
These two types are distinguished readily on the 
streets, and rank can be judged by them. 

The Japanese are a cheerful race. The cares 
of life seem lightly to weigh upon them. On the 
surface they appear always smiling and happy. 



54 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

They are very fond of gay scenes and bright 
colors. Politeness is a national characteristic. 
Etiquette has been carried to such an extent as 
to have largely degenerated into empty forms. 

Mentally they are bright and intelligent, receiv- 
ing and apprehending instruction readily. The 
students are equally as diligent and earnest as are 
those in the academies and colleges of America, 
though physically they are not so able to endure 
prolonged study. They have great thirst for 
knowledge, and study for the sake of learning 
itself; hence the various devices for evading 
study so common in the schools at home are 
almost unknown. The intensity of this thirst for 
knowledge on the part of the young is remark- 
able. Hundreds of young men over all Japan 
are struggling for an education against very great 
odds. Many are now educated abroad, and these 
take their stand in our best colleges and univer- 
sities along with the brightest of our own students. 
When their course is completed they arc able to 
carry on all kinds of learned scientific investiga- 
tions independently of their teachers. Witness 
what they have done in seismology, botany, and 
medicine. These facts indicate that the Japanese 
are an intellectual race. 

In order rightly to appreciate the national 
character we must remember that the idea of 
personality is developed here only partially. 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 55 

This is strikingly evident in the structure of the 
language, which consists of nouns and verbs al- 
most exclusively. Distinctions of person and 
number are generally ignored, and true pro- 
nouns are entirely wanting. From ancient times 
men have been considered, not as individuals, 
but en masse. The family has been exalted 
above the individual, who is hardly considered to 
have an existence apart from it. Thus, in ancient 
times, as among Occidental races also, if one 
member of a family came under the censure of 
the government, all were censured. When one 
member was put to death, all were executed. 
As the family, and not the individual, was the 
unit with which the laws dealt, the family became 
the subject of prime consideration. To perpetuate 
the family line came to be considered a very es- 
sential thing, and in order thereto the system of 
concubinage was introduced. It is proper to state 
that in regard to this exaltation of the family over 
the individual Japan is now in a transition period, 
and that the individual is becoming more and 
more important in the eyes of the law. 

A marked characteristic of the Japanese is their 
strong patriotism. There is no more patriotic peo- 
ple on the face of the earth. It is said that the 
name of the emperor, whispered over the heads 
of an excited mob, will calm it as readily as oil 
poured on troubled waters. In the recent war 



56 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

with China there were many more volunteers for 
active service than could be sent to the front. I 
have seen old men lament, with tears in their eyes, 
that they could no longer serve their country as 
soldiers, even to the death if need be. This prin- 
ciple of loyalty is the strongest motive power in 
Japan to-day. It supersedes all others. A man's 
duty to his family, even to his parents, is nothing 
when compared with his duty to his country ; and 
Japanese history abounds in pathetic stories of 
men, women, and even children, who have counted 
all other duties as naught and have willingly sac- 
rificed their lives for their country. 

Patriotism here amounts to a passion I had 
almost said a fanaticism. From earliest infancy 
it is instilled into the minds of the children, and 
there is not one of the little ones in whose heart 
his country has not the first place. A native writer 
has expressed the sentiments of every Japanese 
thus : " My native land ! everywhere and always 
the first affections of my heart and the first labor 
of my hands shall be thine alone." 

This patriotism is not always held Intelligently. 
The masses of the people have very mistaken 
ideas as to what patriotism is. I meet not a 
few who believe that love for Japan necessi- 
tates a hatred of all other countries, and that no 
man can be loyal and at the same time admire 
and praise foreign lands. Fortunately, the class 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 57 

whose nationalism is so unenlightened is not an 
influential one ; otherwise patriotism itself would 
check the growth and development of the coun- 
try. As it is, the strong nationalistic feeling 
serves to prevent a too indiscriminate adoption of 
Western institutions and to preserve the good 
elements of old Japan. 

Respect for parents and teachers is one of the 
most prominent elements in the national character. 
The first principle of Confucian ethics, as taught 
in China, is reverence and obedience to parents ; 
and although in Japan this has been subordinated 
to the principle of loyalty, it is still a prominent 
factor in the national life. The proper attitude 
of children toward parents, and pupils toward 
teachers, is not one of love, but one of absolute 
obedience and reverence. It is said here that 
true love can come only from a superior to an 
inferior, while the proper feeling of inferiors toward 
their superiors is one of reverence. This relation 
of superior and inferior is carried into every phase 
of society, and on it depends much of the family 
and national life. The principle of obedience is 
almost the only moral teaching given to the girls, 
and when they are grown up their moral ideas 
cluster round this one point. In olden times 
parents had absolute control over their children 
and could dispose of them as they saw fit, even 
killing them if they so desired. But now the 



53 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

parent's control over the child is limited by 
law. Children are expected to yield implicit, 
unquestioning obedience to their parents, and 
Japanese children are usually more virtuous in 
this respect than the children of Americans. 

As a result of this fundamental principle of obe- 
dience, inculcated from childhood, has grown the 
universal respect for authority found in Japan. 
Whatever the government does the common peo- 
ple do not question. Even petty officials are re- 
spected and obeyed in a manner surprising to us 
independently thinking people of the West No 
matter how disagreeable and unjust an act on the 
part of the authorities may be, it is usually ac- 
cepted meekly with the comment, " There is no 
help for it." 

The counterpart of this reverence and unques- 
tioning obedience to authority is a feeling of 
meekness and dependence. The government is 
depended upon for much more than is the govern- 
ment in the United States. It is expected to 
inaugurate all great commercial and industrial 
enterprises. Thus the building of railroads, the 
construction of telegraphs, and other great works 
have had to be executed by the government 
In recent years this spirit is changing some- 
what, and private corporations are beginning to 
inaugurate great enterprises. But In general it 
may be said that the national character is lacking 
in independence and decision. 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 59 

Love of the beautiful is a prominent and highly 
developed Japanese trait. Their ideals of beauty 
differ much from Western ideals, and many things 
that they pronounce beautiful would not be so 
judged in the Occident. Most Americans at first 
cannot appreciate Japanese art, landscape scenery, 
or flowers ; but a short residence here and an ac- 
quaintance with native life and scenes soon bring 
one to appreciate them. The esthetic faculty is 
much more highly developed than in America. 
It is possessed by all classes. The gardens of 
the rich are laid out with especial care, and no 
money or pains are spared to make them beautiful. 
I have seen day-laborers stand and gaze for a long 
time at a beautiful sunset, or go into raptures over 
a dwarfed cherry-bush just putting forth its tiny 
buds. Men who have worked in the fields all day, 
until they are exhausted, on their return home in 
the evening will stop by the wayside to pluck 
some beautiful shrub or flower and carry it back 
with them. Go into the room of a school-boy and 
you will almost invariably find his table brightened 
by a pretty bouquet of flowers. When the cher- 
ries are in bloom the whole population leaves off 
work and turns out to enjoy them. Japan is a 
beauteous land, and no people are more capable 
of appreciating her beauty than her own. 

The Japanese are open-minded and receptive 
of truth, from whatever quarter it may come. 
Were this not true it would have been impossible 



60 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

for her to have become what she is to-day. When 
Buddhism was first brought to Japan it was seen 
to possess elements of religious power that Shinto 
did not have, and the people by and by accepted 
it When Confucianism was introduced its moral 
teachings were seen to be lofty and inspiring, and 
it was given a warm welcome. When Christianity 
first came many of the daimios took especial pains 
to examine into it to see if it were likely to benefit 
their country, with the full intention of accepting 
it. How many of them did accept it is told in 
another chapter. The present attitude of opposi- 
tion is the result of prejudice, instilled in part by 
past experience with Christianity, and in part by 
the misrepresentation of its enemies ; it is not the 
result of natural intolerance. The readiness with 
which Western learning of all kinds has been 
adopted, and the patient hearing and investiga- 
tion native scholars give to all new theories of 
science and knowledge, clearly show that their 
mind is an open and receptive one. A native 
professor has expressed this characteristic in these 
words : " The Japanese as a race are open-hearted, 
with a mind free from prejudice and open to con- 
viction. 1 ' But that it is as receptive of prejudice 
and misrepresentation as of truth and knowledge 
is evidenced by its present attitude toward Chris- 
tianity. 

Many critics have pronounced the Japanese a 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 61 

very speculative people, but it is doubtful if this 
is true. By nature, I think, they are more inclined 
to be practical than speculative. Abstract meta- 
physical and theological ideas have little charm 
for them. 

But there is a large element in Japan that simu- 
lates a taste for philosophical study. Philosophy 
and metaphysics are regarded by them as the pro- 
foundest of all branches of learning, and in order 
to be thought learned they profess great interest 
in these studies. Not only are the highly meta- 
physical philosophies of the East studied, but the 
various systems of the West are looked into like- 
wise. Many of the people are capable of appre- 
ciating these philosophies, too ; but they do it for 
a purpose. 

Japanese character is lacking in steadfastness 
and fixedness of purpose. Huge enterprises will 
be begun with great enthusiasm, only to be aban- 
doned in a short while. There is not that stead- 
fastness and fixedness which lays out far-reaching 
plans, extending years into the future, and which 
adheres to these plans until their purpose is ac- 
complished. On the contrary, they are vacillat- 
ing and changeful, as is shown by their migratory 
disposition. This want of steadfastness is even 
evinced by many ministerial candidates. It is a 
frequent occurrence for young men to enter the 
mission schools with the firm intention of becom* 



62 THE GIST OJP JAPAN 

ing evangelists, and, by the time their academic 
course is finished, to change their mind and go 
into some other calling. Some of those who have 
become evangelists are restless and vacillating, 
and after they have been located in one place for 
a few years like to be transferred to another. 
The " stick-to-it-iveness " of the Anglo-Saxon is 
largely wanting. But we must not speak too 
dogmatically upon this point, for the Japanese 
government has shown itself capable of laying out 
far-reaching plans, and of adhering to its original 
purpose until it is successfully accomplished. 

Inconsistency is another trait of the Japanese 
mind, which often turns square about and takes 
positions exactly opposed to its avowed principles, 
realizing no inconsistency in doing so. This is 
well illustrated in the political life of the people. 
In theory the emperor, as the divine head of the 
nation, cannot go wrong, and whatever he does 
is necessarily right. It is the duty of every sub- 
ject unquestioningly to obey the will of the em- 
peror. To this all Japanese will readily agree, 
but in practice the people are often found ar- 
raigned against the government, which has the 
emperor for its head. Lines of policy which the 
emperor himself has mapped out and pursued for 
years are often bitterly opposed ; and yet the peo- 
ple are all unconscious of this, and resent very much 
any insinuation that they are opposing his will. 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 63 

Another evidence of inconsistency is seen in 
their opposition to Christianity. The usual ob- 
jection that is made against our faith is that it is 
a Western religion, and there are thousands of 
people who oppose it solely on this ground. But, 
even while opposing the Western religion, they 
are daily using all kinds of Western institutions 
gladly. All manner of material things are received 
from abroad with pleasure, and are considered 
none the worse for their foreign origin, the line 
being drawn at religion. 

Japanese character is largely wanting in origi- 
nality. The people have originated almost noth- 
ing, having accepted nearly everything at the 
hands of others. In ancient times Japan had Korea 
for a teacher ; afterward she studied under China; 
now she is at school to Europe and America. Her 
medieval civilization was accepted bodily from 
Asia, just as her modern is from Europe. No im- 
portant inventions have been made. Even the 
little jinrikisha, which is the universal means of 
locomotion, and which, I believe, is found nowhere 
else except in certain Chinese ports, is said to have 
been first made by an American missionary for 
the comfort and convenience of his invalid wife. 
It should be said, however, that some claim the 
native origin of the jinrikisha, and contend that 
its inventor lived in Kyoto. 

But while the Japanese are not originators, they 



64 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

are excellent imitators. The ability to imitate 
well is a power not to be despised. This, when 
coupled with assimilation, is a very fruitful source 
of progress, as the Japan of to-day witnesses* 
The ease and facility with which Japan has imi- 
tated the West and assimilated her institutions, 
applying them to new and changed conditions, is 
marvelous. Given a model, the people can make 
anything, no matter how diminutive or compli- 
cated. Even the American dude is most success- 
fully imitated. 

The Japanese do not slavishly follow their 
models, but are able to change, modify, and de- 
velop them at will. Given the general idea, they 
can easily construct the rest. Thus in the adop- 
tion of Western institutions they have in some 
cases actually improved upon their models. Es- 
pecially is this true of the postal and telegraph 
systems, which, though copied after our own, are 
in many respects superior. They are not blind 
followers of their teachers, but often start out on 
independent exploration and investigation. Such 
powers of imitation are second only to those of in- 
vention, and have made Japan what she is to-day. 

Another national peculiarity is the slight value 
placed upon human life. The idea that the family, 
and not the individual, is of supreme importance, 
and the Buddhistic teaching that life itself is the 
greatest of all evils, are responsible for this. To 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 65 

pour out one's blood upon the battle-field for one's 
lord has from of old been considered a privilege. 
Death has not that terror that it has in the West, 
and the people are not afraid to die. Hence sui- 
cides are of very frequent occurrence, and to take 
one's own life is, under certain circumstances, con- 
sidered a meritorious act. Under the old regime 
a member of the samurai or warrior classes could 
not be executed like a common man, but after con- 
demnation was left to take his own life. 

About seven thousand suicides occur in Japan 
each year. The slightest reasons will induce a 
man to take his own life. Statistics show that 
the proportion of suicides varies with the success 
or failure of the rice crop. If sustenance is cheap, 
people live ; if it is dear, they rid themselves of 
the burden of life. The number of suicides also 
varies much with the season of the year, showing 
that such little matters as heat and discomfort 
will outweigh the value put upon life. 

A young girl recently came to Saga from 
Kagoshima as a household servant She did not 
like her new home, and asked her mistress to send 
her back to her birthplace. The mistress refused, 
and the next morning the poor girl was found 
dead in the yard, having hanged herself during 
the night all, forsooth, because she could not 
go home. So low is the value placed upon life 
here! Human life is valued highly in the West 



06 THE GIST OF J4PAN 

solely because of Christian teaching; outside of 
Christendom it is cheap. 

It has been charged upon the Japanese that 
they are wanting in gratitude, or, at least, that 
their gratitude lasts only so long as they are look- 
ing for favors. This is but partially true. Ever 
since I came to Japan I have been teaching a few 
boys English at odd hours, and they have really 
embarrassed me by the number of their presents. 
On the other hand, I have helped young men 
with money at school, who were at first grateful 
apparently, and would come to my home to per- 
form various small services in return, but by and 
by would object to doing the least service, even 
while living on my charity. 

In past years Japan has in various capacities 
employed a great number of Americans and Eu- 
ropeans, and has usually rendered them a very 
adequate return for their services. In addition to 
the stipulated salary, she has often given them 
costly presents. But recently a good deal of com- 
plaint has been made by foreign employees to the 
effect that, after they have given the best years 
of their lives to the service of Japan, they have 
been summarily dismissed, without previous notice 
and without thanks. 

Evidences of ingratitude are very numerous in 
the native church. The missionary who has left 
home, friends, and country for the sake of these 



JAPANESE CHARACTERISTICS 67 

people, and who labors for them with all the 
powers God has given him, is often not rewarded 
by that gratitude and kindness on the part of 
his converts which he reasonably expects. Fre- 
quently he takes young men from the humbler 
walks of life, provides both their food and cloth- 
ing, gives them six or eight years* instruction in 
well-equipped schools, supports them liberally as 
evangelists, only to have them rise up against 
him, oppose him in his work, and pronounce him 
an ignoramus. In many parts of the native church 
there is a strong anti- missionary spirit, and the 
feeling of gratitude which these churches should 
have for their founders, organizers, and supporters 
is wanting. From such facts as these we are 
forced to conclude that the feeling of gratitude is 
not very strong. 

Much has been said in regard to the commercial 
honor and integrity of the Japanese. Our first 
American minister to Japan, Townsend Harris, 
pronounced them " the greatest liars upon the 
face of the earth." A foreign employee in a 
government school, when asked concerning the 
native character, replied in two words deceit and 
conceit. The numerous exceptions to upright 
dealing in mercantile circles seem to justify these 
judgments. Native merchants are unreliable in 
such matters as punctuality, veracity, and the 
keeping of contracts. They will do all in their 



68 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

power to avoid the fulfilment of a contract which 
would entail a loss. The artisan class is even more 
unreliable in these respects than are the mer- 
chants. 

To offset this, it should be said that, while the 
people are frequently unreliable in private matters, 
in public affairs and in all governmental relations 
they are honest and fair-dealing. Public office is 
seldom perverted for private ends, and the na- 
tional conscience would quickly call to account 
any official who would enrich himself at the public 
expense. In this respect Japan is in striking con- 
trast with the other nations of the East, and, alas ! 
with many of those of the West as well 

I have not endeavored to give an exhaustive 
statement of the national characteristics of the 
Japanese people, but have simply tried to give 
enough to help my readers to an appreciation of 
the native character. I have endeavored to be 
strictly truthful and at the same time to do justice 
to the race. While fully recognizing the failings 
of the Japanese, we must also recognize the great 
improvement of the national character in recent 
years, and must remember that they are in many 
respects laboring at a great disadvantage, and de- 
serve, not hatred and contempt, but our warmest 
sympathy and love. 



IV 

MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 

A STUDY of the manners and customs of foreign 
peoples is both interesting and profitable. If we 
have no knowledge of the customs of other nations 
we are apt to think that our own customs have 
their ground in eternal reason, and that all cus- 
toms differing from ours are necessarily false and 
wrong. But if we study the manners of other 
lands, and learn of the daily observance of customs 
many of which are squarely opposed to our own, 
and which nevertheless work well, we will be led 
to value our own customs at their true worth, and 
to realize that we have not a monopoly of all that 
is good, convenient, and useful. 

To know the manners and customs of a country 
is to know much about that country. There is 
no truer index of the character of a people's life. 
Knowing these, the prevailing morality and gov- 
erning laws may be very largely inferred. In fact, 
69 



70 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

every phase of a nation's life has so intimate a 
connection with the manners and customs that a 
study of these is exceedingly profitable. 

Such a study is especially necessary to those 
who would gain a correct knowledge of the nature 
and difficulties of mission work in foreign lands. 
The customs of a people will have a direct bearing 
upon mission work among them. If Christianity 
violates national customs it will be condemned ; if 
it observes them it will be tolerated. Whether it 
observes or violates them must depend upon the 
nature of the customs themselves. The success 
of Christianity in any country will depend, in part, 
upon the nature of the customs prevalent there. 
Therefore it is wise for us to study those of Japan, 
in order to a better understanding of the people 
and of the condition and prospects of mission work 
among them. 

One of the most striking facts in connection 
with Japanese customs is that many of them are 
exactly opposed to those which prevail in the 
West People who have been accustomed to 
doing certain things one way all their lives, and 
have come to look upon that as the only way, upon 
coming out here are shocked to find these very 
same things done in precisely the opposite way. 
This is so to such an extent that Japan has been 
called " Topsyturvydom," But to those who are 
a^guainted with the customs of both East and 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 71 

West it is a serious question which one is topsy- 
turvy. After one has become used to them, many 
of the customs appear just as sensible and con- 
venient as those of America or Europe. Why 
this opposition, we do not know, but perhaps the 
fact that the Japanese are antipodal to us makes 
it fitting that their customs should be antipodal 
too. I will point out a few of the things that are 
so different 

The manner of making books and of writing 
letters is very different from that to which my 
readers are accustomed. An Occidental has an 
idea that something inherent in things necessitates 
that a book begin at the left side, and the thought 
of beginning at the other side appears to him 
ridiculous. But in reality it is every whit as con- 
venient, fitting, and sensible to begin at one side 
as at the other; and all Japanese books begin at 
the side which people of the West call the end, i.e., 
at the right side, and read toward the left While 
English books are printed across the page in lines 
from left to right, Japanese books are printed from 
right to left in columns. An Occidental generally 
turns the leaves of his book from the top with his 
left hand ; an Oriental turns them from the bottom 
with his right hand. In Western libraries the 
books are placed on their ends in rows ; in Japan 
they are laid flat down on their sides and piled up 
in columns. If we see several good dictionaries 



72 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

or encyclopedias In a man's study we arc apt to 
infer that he is a man of studious habits; the 
Japanese of olden times inferred just the oppo- 
site. The idea seems to have been that a scholar 
would already have the meaning and use of 
all words in his head and would not need to 
refer to a dictionary. A Japanese friend who 
came into my study one day expressed great sur- 
prise at seeing several large dictionaries there. 
" You have certainly had better educational ad- 
vantages than I have," he said, " and yet I can 
get along with a very small dictionary ; why can- 
not you?" Upon inquiry, I learned that many 
Japanese keep their dictionaries concealed, be- 
cause they do not want it said that they must 
refer to them often. 

The manner of addressing letters in Japan is 
exactly opposed to ours. Take a familiar example. 

We write : 

MR, FRANK JONKS, 
no Gay Street, 
Knoxvillc, 

Tennessee. 

A Japanese would write it : 

Tennessee, 
Knoxville, 

Gay Street, no, 

JONES, FRANK, MR. 

The latter is certainly the more sensible method, 
because what the postmaster wants to sec is not 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 73 

the name of the man to whom the letter is ad- 
dressed, but the place to which it is to go. 

In matters of dress there are some customs 
quite opposed to our own. The American lady, 
especially if she goes to a ball, has her neck and 
arms bare, but she would be shocked at the very 
mention of having her feet bare. The Japanese 
lady puts her heaviest clothing on her arms and 
shoulders, but does not at all mind being seen with 
bare feet and ankles. Many of the ladies do not 
wear any foot-gear at all in the house, but these 
same women could hardly be induced to expose 
their arms and necks as Western women do. 

A Western lady is very anxious to have a thin, 
narrow waist ; her Japanese sister wants a broad 
one. In the West curly hair is highly prized on 
girls and women ; in the East it is considered an 
abomination. If you tell a little girl here that her 
hair is curly, she will consider it a disgrace and 
will cry bitterly. The most striking difference in 
regard to dress, however, is in mourning dress. 
Whereas in the West it is always black, in Japan 
it is always white. 

Another remarkable contrast is found in the 
relation of the sexes. In America the woman is 
given the precedence in everything. Her hus- 
band, and all other men who come within her in- 
fluence, must serve and honor her. Attend" an 
evening party and see woman in her glory. How 



74 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the men crowd round her, anxious to serve or 
entertain! When supper Is announced they vie 
with one another for the honor of escorting her 
to the dining-room, She must have first seat at 
table and be first served, and during the progress 
of the meal the men must be careful to see that 
she has everything her sweet will desires. When 
supper is over the ladies precede the men to the 
drawing-room, and by the time the men a^ain ap- 
pear on the scene the ladies, including the hostess, 
are settled in the easiest chairs. When the time 
for departure has come it is my lady who an- 
nounces to the hostess -not the host her de- 
parture, and her husband or escort simply awaits 
her bidding. In Japan all of this is changed. 
The man takes precedence everywhere, and the 
woman must serve him. At meals the woman 
must first wait on. her husband and then she her- 
self may eat. When, guests come, the husband 
is the chief entertainer, and the wife takes a back 
seat and says little. On passing through a door, 
entering a train or carriage, etc., the husband al- 
ways precedes his wife. When walking on the 
street together she does not walk by his side, 
but comes along behind. The men do not intend 
to mistreat the women ; they simply take what 
they regard their due as the head of the family. 
Among the customs most peculiar in the eyes 
of Westerners and most squarely opposed to their 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 75 

own are those relating to marriage. In Japan the 
young man and woman have nothing whatever to 
do with the match-making, except to give their 
consent to the arrangements of their parents ; and 
frequently even this is not asked. The wedding 
is arranged in some such manner as this : When- 
ever the parents of a young man think their son 
old enough to get married they secure the services 
of some friend, who acts as " go-between." It is 
the duty of this party to search out a suitable girl 
and win the consent of her parents to the mar- 
riage. While this is going on it is not likely that 
either of the young people is aware of it, but as 
soon as the parents have arranged matters to their 
own satisfaction they are informed. It often hap- 
pens that the man has never seen his bride until 
the wedding-day. Young people seldom object 
to the arrangements of their parents, and mar- 
riages made in this way seem to work well. 

In the West the wedding often takes place in 
church; in Japan the temples are studiously 
avoided at such times. There a minister is nearly 
always present ; here they are very careful to ex- 
clude priests. The wedding is to be joyous, and 
as priests are known best as officiators at funerals, 
and ideas of sadness and misfortune are associated 
with them, they are excluded. 

In the West, if the wedding does not take place 
in church, it will probably be held in the home of 



76 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the bride ; in the East it is always held in the 
home of the groom. There the bride's household 
prepares the feast ; here the groom's prepares it 
There the groom must go to fetch his bride ; here 
she must come to him. It makes no difference 
whether she lives in the same city or in a distant 
province ; she must go to the groom, not he to her. 

The poor mother-in-law is evil spoken of in the 
East as well as in the West ; but while there it is 
the mother of the bride who is said to make life 
miserable for the groom, here it is the mother of 
the groom who often makes life miserable for the 
bride. 

Customs in regard to the use of houses are 
quite different. In America the front rooms of 
a house are considered most desirable ; in Japan 
the back rooms are preferred. There the parlors, 
sitting-rooms, etc., are in front, and the kitchen 
and store-rooms are relegated to the back; here 
the kitchen and store-rooms are in front, and the 
parlors and sitting-rooms behind. There the front 
yards are kept clean, but the back yards are pro- 
verbially dirty ; here all sorts of dirt and trash may 
be lying around in the front yard, while the back 
yard is a perfect little garden of beauty. 

Signs made with the hands are very different 
in Japan from those to which my readers are ac- 
customed, and are much more graceful Here, 
when we call some one to us by the hand, in- 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 77 

stead of the awkward, ungainly motion of the 
index-finger used in the West, we simply hold 
out the whole hand horizontally in front of us 
and gently move all the fingers up and down. 
The latter motion is very graceful, while even 
a pretty girl cannot execute the former one 
gracefully. Here, when we refuse a request or 
repel one from us by a sign of the hand, instead 
of turning the palm of the hand outward and 
pushing it from the body in a rough, uncivil man- 
ner, we merely hold the hand perpendicularly be- 
fore the face, palm outward, and move it back and 
forth a few times. 

Japanese carpenters saw by pulling the saw to- 
ward them instead of pushing it from them; the 
planes cut in the same way ; and screws are put 
in by turning them to the left instead of the right. 

Even in the nursery we find customs directly 
antipodal. While the American nurse takes the 
child up in her arms, the Japanese nurse takes it 
on her back. 

These are some of the customs most squarely 
opposed to our own. The first thought of my 
readers when learning of them will probably be, 
how ridiculous and inconvenient ! And yet they 
are just as convenient and sensible as their own, 
and some of them much more so. There is noth- 
ing in the nature of things why most customs 
should be either this way or that 



78 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

The most Interesting things about foreign 
peoples are those connected with their daily lives 
their homes, food, and dress. Let us examine 
a Japanese house, take a meal with its occupants, 
and then observe their manner of dress. 

The houses are usually very light structures, 
built of wood, one or two stories high. They re- 
semble an American house but little. The roofs 
are made of tiles, straw, or shingles. Tiles make 
a pretty and durable roof, but they cost much 
more than straw, and hence the common people 
generally use the latter. The skilful Japanese 
workman can make a very pretty, lasting, and 
effective roof of straw. The houses of the rich 
are large and have many nice rooms in them; 
those of the poor are small, with only one or 
two rooms. Houses are so constructed as to 
permit the air to pass through them freely. The 
rooms are separated only by light, detachable 
partitions made of paper, and these are frequently 
taken away and the whole house thrown into one 
room. Many of the outer walls are also detach- 
able, and on a warm summer day are put aside, 
when a delightful breeze constantly passes through 
the house. The floors are covered with thick, 
soft straw mats, which are kept so clean that the 
people, even when dressed in their best clothes, 
sit or loll on them. On entering a Japanese house 
you must leave your shoes at the door, just as you 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 79 

do your hat. It would be an unpardonable offense 
to come inside and tread on the mats with your 
shoes on. 

The average Japanese eats, sleeps, and lives in 
the same room. He has no chairs, no bedsteads, 
and no tables to get in his way. During the day 
he sits on the soft straw mats; when evening 
comes two large comfortables are brought, and 
one is spread on the floor to lie on, while the 
other is used for covering. No sheets are used, 
and the pillow is a funny little block of wood. 
On this simple bed the man sleeps as soundly as 
we in our more elaborate ones. In the morning 
the bed is rolled up and packed away. At meal- 
time little tables, four or six inches high and 
about sixteen inches square, are brought, and one 
is placed before each person. The food is served 
in pretty little lacquer or china bowls, and each 
one's portion is placed on his own table. The 
people eat with chopsticks about eight inches long 
and one fourth of an inch in diameter. These 
answer their purpose well, but are hard to use 
until one is accustomed to them. When the 
meal is over all these things are carried away to 
the kitchen, and the room is ready for any other 
use to which one may desire to put it. In this 
way one room is made to serve for all the pur- 
poses of a household. 

The most conspicuous thing in a Japanese room 



80 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

is the ftibachi*. little wooden or china box about 
one foot square. This is kept half full of ashes, 
and on top of the ashes is a handful of burning 
charcoal On this usually sits a little tea-kettle, 
filled with boiling water used in making the tea, 
which is drunk without milk or sugar at every 
hour of the day. When one first enters a Japanese 
house, politeness requires that the host or hostess 
immediately offer the guest a small cup of this 
tea. There is no other provision than this hibachi 
for heating a room ; and, as one would imagine, 
it gives out but little heat Japanese houses are 
very cold in winter. They would not at all an- 
swer in a cold climate, and even here the people 
suffer from the cold. 

Japanese food is unpalatable to most foreigners, 
and the eating of it is an art which must be ac- 
quired gradually. After repeated experiments 
we learn to like it, and can live on it fairly well; 
but most foreign residents usually take more or 
less European food with them every time they 
go into the interior. 

From of old Buddhism forbade the eating of 
anything that had animal life, and hence it came 
about that the Japanese are probably as vegetarian 
in their diet as any people on earth. Even such 
animal food as butter and milk is not used. But- 
ter is very unpalatable to them, but many are be- 
ginning to use a little milk. Bread, so necessary 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 81 

to a Western table, forms no part of a Japanese 
bill of fare. The staple here is rice, not boiled 
and mashed to pieces, with milk and butter, but 
simply boiled in water sufficiently to cook it well 
without breaking the grains. When it is cooked 
each grain remains intact, and it is snowy white 
and perfectly dry. No salt or seasoning of any 
kind is put into it, as it is thought to spoil the 
flavor. 

The rivers, lakes, and seas of Japan are teeming 
with splendid fish, which form an important part 
of the native diet It seems that Buddhism, while 
forbidding the use of meats generally, permitted 
the eating of fish. Certain kinds of fish, cut into 
thin slices and eaten raw with a kind of sauce, are 
considered a great delicacy. The idea of eating 
raw fish seems very repugnant, but many of my 
readers would eat it without realizing what it is 
unless they were told. I often eat it. But only a 
few of the fish consumed are eaten raw ; most are 
boiled or fried. 

Foreign vegetables are rare, and are not much 
liked by the natives. But there is an abundance 
of native vegetables. The most common one is a 
large, coarse radish called daikon, which is pickled, 
and eaten at nearly every meal. This daikon is 
very cheap, and is a chief part of the diet of that 
small portion of the population that cannot afford 
rice. Sweet potatoes are abundant and cheap. 



82 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

They are considered the poor man's food, and the 
well-to-do people are ashamed to eat them. 
Often at hotels, when I have asked for sweet 
potatoes, the servant has replied in astonishment, 
"Why, do you eat sweet potatoes? They are 
for coolies. " A mountain-potato and the roots 
of the lotus and bamboo are also eaten. Since 
the country has been opened to foreign trade and 
foreigners have settled here it is possible to get 
meats and flour and some foreign vegetables at 
most places. 

Japanese clothing is frequently conspicuous by 
its absence. Many of the people do not realize 
the necessity of burdening themselves with cloth- 
ing on a hot summer day, and wear very little. 
The government has been constrained to make 
laws against nudity, but these are enforced only 
in the cities. The usual summer garment of 
many of the children in my city is simply the 
dark-brown one given them by nature. Most of 
the coolies wear nothing but a little loin-cloth 
when at work. 

The real native costume is both pretty and 
becoming. It consists usually of a single robe 
reaching from the shoulders to the ankles, and 
tied round the waist with a heavy girdle. Tight- 
fitting undergarments, in foreign style, are some- 
times worn now, but they form no part of the 
original native costume* A black outer garment, 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 83 

reaching only to the knees, is placed over the 
ordinary robe on state occasions. Formerly the 
Japanese did not wear hats, and even now half of 
the men one meets on the street are bareheaded. 
The women wear neither hats nor bonnets. 

It is not considered improper to go barefooted 
in Japan, but generally the better classes are shod 
when they go out of doors. If anything resem- 
bling a stocking is worn, it is what they call tabi, 
a sort of foot-glove, made of either white or black 
cloth, with a separate inclosure for the great toe. 
A block of wood called geta corresponds to our 
shoes. It has two cords attached to the same 
place in front, and then dividing, one being fas- 
tened on each side at the back. These cords slip 
in between the great toe and the others, and, 
passing over the foot, secure the geta. 

Japanese bathing customs are peculiar. Per- 
haps there are no other people on earth that 
bathe as often as they. It is customary for every 
one, even the coolies, to bathe well the whole body 
every day. The baths are taken very hot about 
110 F. ' Each private house has a large bath- 
tub, which in many instances is capacious enough 
to accommodate the whole family at once. Be- 
sides these private baths each city and town has 
its public ones, where a good hot bath, in a place 
large enough for you to swim round, can be had 
for one cent. Men, women, and children go into 



84 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

them at the same time, indiscriminately. Japan 
is a land of hot springs, so that almost every dis- 
trict has its natural hot baths. Most of them have 
medicinal value, and the people flock to them by 
thousands. 

The funeral customs are very different from 
ours. It is a strange feature of the native char- 
acter that when one is deeply moved he is very 
likely to cover up his emotion with a laugh. If 
a man announces to you the death of his child, 
he will probably laugh as he does so. At funerals 
there is not that solemn silence which we expect, 
but frequently loud talking and laughter. The 
coffin is a square, upright box with considerable 
ornamentation. The corpse is placed in it in a sit- 
ting posture. In Japan are found the hired mourn- 
ers of whom we read in the Bible, Anciently 
they were employed to follow the corpse, mourn- 
ing in a loud voice ; but that has become obsolete, 
and now they simply follow in the procession, 
wearing the white garments. The usual manner 
of disposing of dead bodies is by interment, but 
cremation is rapidly growing in favor. The gov- 
ernment will not permit a body to be buried until 
it has been dead twenty-four hours. 

For several weeks after a body has been interred 
it is customary for the members of the bereaved 
family to make daily visits to the tomb and pre- 
sent offerings to the departed spirit in the temple. 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 85 

Each year, on the anniversary of the death, the 
children are expected to visit the tomb and wor- 
ship the spirit of the departed. This custom of 
ancestor- worship is forbidden by Christianity, 
and hence the people charge us with teaching 
disrespect to parents and ancestors. 

A custom peculiar to Japan is a form of suicide 
known as hara-kiri, or " belly-cutting." From 
time immemorial, to take one's own life in this 
manner has been considered very honorable and 
has expiated all crimes and offenses. In olden 
times, if the life of any one of noble blood became 
hurtful to the state, he was simply sent a certain 
kind of short sword. This meant that he was to 
take his own life by the favorite national method. 
So the recipient quietly ate his last meal, bade his 
family farewell, afid, seating himself squarely on 
the mat, deliberately thrust the sword into the 
left side of his abdomen, and drew it across to the 
right side. As this cut does not kill immediately, 
a retainer, from behind, placed there for that pur- 
pose, struck off his master's head with one blow of 
a heavy sword. In the eyes of the law this death 
atoned for all sins and offenses ; hence it was often 
practised in old Japan. It is almost obsolete now. 

The Japanese are an exceedingly polite people. 
They have been called the Frenchmen of the 
Orient in recognition of this national characteris- 
tic. Politeness is exalted above everything, above 



86 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

even truth and honor. If you ask an ordinary 
Japanese which is better, to tell a falsehood or be 
impolite, he will at once reply, "To tell a false- 
hood." But while the people are exceedingly 
polite, a large part of this politeness is merely 
surface, without any meaning. Etiquette re- 
quires that you always address and treat your 
equals as though they were your superiors. There 
is a separate form of address for each step in the 
social scale. I have seen Japanese men stand at 
a door for five minutes, and blush, and beg each 
other to pass through first, each hesitating to pre- 
cede the other. A Japanese gentleman never 
stops to converse with a friend, be he only a child, 
without taking of! his hat 

To look down upon one from a superior eleva- 
tion is considered very impolite. Thus if the em- 
peror or any one of especial distinction passes 
through a city, all the upper stories of the houses 
must be vacated. Under no circumstances are 
any permitted to observe the procession from an 
upper window. I was out walking one day in 
our good city of Saga with a foreign friend who 
was leading his little boy by the hand. It hap- 
pened that a countess was passing through the 
city. The policemen had cleared the street for 
the procession, and a large crowd was standing 
at the corner. We joined this crowd. The little 
boy could not see, so his father held him up that 



MANNERS AND CUSTOMS 87 

he might look over the people's heads, At once 
the police forbade it and made him put the child 
down. 

In many instances forms of politeness are car- 
ried to a ridiculous extreme. When you give a 
present, no matter how nice, you must apologize 
by saying that it is so cheap and insignificant that 
you are ashamed to lift it up to the honorable 
person, but if he will condescend to accept it he 
will make you very happy. If you receive a pres- 
ent you must elevate it toward the top of the head 
(as that is considered the most honorable part of 
the body) and at the same time say that it is the 
most beautiful thing on earth. When you are in- 
vited to a dinner the invitation will carefully state 
that no special preparation will be made for the 
occasion. At the beginning of- the meal the 
hostess will apologize for presuming to set before 
you such mean, dirty food, and will declare that 
she has nothing whatever for you to eat, although 
she will doubtless have a feast fit for a king. 
Even if it should not be good, you must say that 
it is and praise it extravagantly. 

The greetings between friends are sometimes 
right funny. I have often overheard such con- 
versations as the following. Two men meet In 
the street, and, taking off their hats, bow very 
low, and begin as follows : 

A. " I have not had the pleasure of hang- 



88 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

ing myself in your honorable eyes for a long 
time." 

B. " I was exceedingly rude the last time I 
saw you." 

A. " No ; it was surely I who was rude. 
Please excuse me." 

B. " How is your august health? " 

A, " Very good, thanks to your kind assis- 
tance." 

B. " Is the august lady, your honorable wife, 
well?" 

A. "Yes, thank you; the lazy old woman is 
quite well. 1 ' 

B. " And how are your princely children? " 

A. "A thousand thanks for your kind interest. 
The noisy, dirty little brats are well too," 

B. " I am now living on a little back street, 
and niy house is awfully small and dirty ; but if 
you can endure it, please honor me by a visit." 

A. "I am overcome with thanks, and will early 
ascend to your honorable residence, and impose 
my uninteresting self upon your hospitality/ 1 

B. " I will now be very impolite and leave 
you.** 

A. "If that is so, excuse me. Sayonara" 



V 

JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 

THE question is often asked, Are the Japanese 
a civilized people? The answer will entirely 
depend upon our definition of civilization. If 
civilization consists in a highly organized com- 
mercial and industrial life, in the construction and 
use of huge, towering piles of manufactories and 
commercial houses, such as are seen in New York 
and Chicago, in amassing enormous capital, con- 
trolling the trade of the country by monopolies, 
and doing the work of the world by machinery 
that moves with the precision of clockwork, then 
Japan is not yet civilized. But if civilization 
consists in a courteous, refined manner, in a calm 
enjoyment of literature and the arts, in an ability 
to live easily and comfortably with a due regard 
to all the amenities of life, then the Japanese are 
a civilized people. 

A very brilliant writer on Japanese subjects * 

* Lafcadio Hearn. 
89 



00 THE GIST OP JAPAN 

has said that the Japanese have been a civilized 
people for at least a thousand years. Chinese 
civilization was brought to Japan early in the 
Christian era, and flourished for more than fifteen 
hundred years. While it differs much from Eu- 
ropean civilization, it is a highly organized and 
developed system, venerable with age. When 
people of the West speak of civilized countries 
they are apt to think of Europe and America, to 
the exclusion of all the rest of the world. This 
is unfair. Chinese civilization is much older than 
our own. Long before the dark ages of Europe 
the Chinese were living under a regular system 
of laws and were engaged in all peaceful pursuits. 
Systematic methods of agriculture, the art of 
printing, gunpowder, and the mariners' compass 
were all known and usad. While our own fore- 
fathers in northern Europe roamed the forests as 
wild men and dressed in skins, the Chinese were 
living quietly in cities and towns, dressed in silks. 
This venerable Chinese civilization was readily 
adopted in Japan, and prevailed down to the time 
of the Restoration, in 1868. Since that time the 
adoption and assimilation of Western civilization 
have been progressing with a rapidity and success 
which have no precedent in the history of the 
world. The old immobile, crystallized Chinese 
civilization has been thrown off, and the vigorous, 
elastic forms of the West have been successfully 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 91 

adopted. Japanese civilization of to-day is Euro- 
pean, only with a national coloring. 

On the advice of an American missionary,* 
who was then president of the Imperial Univer- 
sity, and who arranged the program for the expe- 
dition, in 1872 a committee of seventy intelligent 
Japanese gentlemen, many of them from the noble 
families, was sent to the West to visit the capitals 
of the several countries, examine into their forms 
of government and civilization, and, of all that 
they found, to choose and bring back with them 
what was best adapted to Japan. This commit- 
tee, after visiting Washington, London, Berlin, 
and other places, and carefully examining into 
their different institutions, returned and reported 
to the government. From this time began the 
rapid adoption of Western civilization, which is 
still in progress. 

Foreign employees have played an important 
part in this peaceful revolution. At first nearly 
everything that was adopted was under foreign 
superintendence ; but the Japanese are such apt 
learners that they are now capable of managing 
this new civilization for themselves, and the for- 
eign employees have been mostly dispensed with. 

With this brief history of Japanese progress 
before us, let us now examine into the present 
condition of Japanese civilization. 
* Dr. Verbeck. 



92 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

One of the best indicators of the civilization of 
a country is its literature. No writers of world- 
wide fame have arisen in Japan, yet the country 
has a literature of which she is not ashamed. In 
ancient times the Chinese classics were alone 
studied, and all literature was molded by Con- 
fucian ideas ; to-day these models have been cast 
aside, and a school of young, independent writers 
has arisen, by whom history, political and moral 
science, botany, sociology, belles-lettres, and nu- 
merous other subjects are discussed with vigor 
and originality. 

In the number of newspapers and magazines 
published Japan can compare favorably with any 
country of equal size. The great dailies have 
not yet grown to such importance as those of 
America or England, but they already wield a 
mighty influence. Nearly every small town has 
its morning and its evening sheet. Even in our 
backward old town of Saga we have two very 
good dailies. There are a large number of able 
magazines published. Nearly every branch of 
learning has a magazine devoted exclusively to 
its interests, as is frequently the case in the West. 
The very existence of this innumerable multitude 
of newspapers and magazines shows that the 
Japanese are great readers. 

The educational system in vogue is a good 
index of a nation's civilization. Perhaps no na- 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 93 

tion of the West has a better organized and 
developed free-school system than has Japan. 
Schools are found in every village and hamlet, 
and as all children of a prescribed age are re- 
quired to attend, they are full to overflowing. 
The little round-faced, sleek-headed Japanese 
children swarm round them like bees. There are 
four grades of schools: the primary lower, the 
advanced lower, the lower middle, and the higher 
middle. The lower schools are found everywhere ; 
the higher ones only in the large towns and cities. 
Of the higher middle schools (which correspond 
to our American colleges of middle grade) there 
are seven, distributed at various points over the 
empire. At the head of this whole system stands 
the Imperial University in Tokyo, which is itself 
the outgrowth of several colleges, and is largely 
modeled after the German universities. The lower 
schools are modeled after our American schools. 
Unfortunately, so large a part of the time of 
the school-children must be spent in studying 
Chinese characters that it takes about eight years 
to learn to read. What a pity that the awkward, 
antiquated system of Chinese writing is not aban- 
doned! It seems that the native kana, of which 
there are about forty- eight, with a few of the 
more common Chinese characters, would answer 
all purposes ; then the long years spent in study- 
ing Chinese could be devoted to other things, to 



M THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the immense advantage of the student In the 
lower schools very little is studied except Chinese. 
In the middle schools the branches studied are 
just about what American youths study in the 
academies. Formerly considerable stress was laid 
upon the study of modern languages, and all 
students of the middle schools were required to 
study English and either French or German. 
But in recent years only English has been re- 
quired, and it, even, is not studied so carefully as 
it was. Since the revision of the treaties the 
study of foreign languages seems to be on the 
increase. 

The Imperial University compares very favor- 
ably with Western universities of the middle class. 
It has six faculties, namely, law, medicine, litera- 
ture, science, engineering, and agriculture. The 
medical department is under German influence; 
the others have professors of various nationalities, 
mostly English, German, and Japanese. The 
students number over 1000. The government 
has recently undertaken the establishment of an- 
other university in Kyoto. It also supports two 
higher normal schools, a higher commercial 
school, naval and military academies, fine-arts 
school, technical school, the nobles' school, the 
musical academy, and the blind and dumb school. 
Professor Chamberlain, of the Imperial Univer- 
sity, says the leading idea of the Japanese govern- 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 95 

ment in all its educational improvements is the 
desire to assimilate the national ways of thinking 
to those of European countries. In view of the 
difference between the East and the West, this is an 
enormous task ; and great credit is due that brave 
body of educators who, fighting against fearful 
odds, are gradually accomplishing their purpose. 

The Japanese are a nation of artists. Life in 
one of the most beautiful countries in the world 
has, to a rare degree, developed in them the love 
of the beautiful ; and this has expressed itself in 
the various phases of national art In general, 
Japanese art is pretty, but small, isolated, and 
lacking in breadth of view. Its chief use in 
former times was largely decorative, to paint a 
screen or a piece of porcelain, and the artists did 
this to perfection. As a nation the Japanese are 
very skilful with the pencil. Long writing of 
Chinese characters has given them a control of 
the pencil or crayon not commonly found among 
the people of the West Drawing is taught in 
the schools, and every school-boy can draw pretty 
pictures. But in art, as in other things, the 
Japanese are frequently inconsistent, and show 
a haughty disregard of details. They excel in 
portraying nature. 

The government of Japan is progressive and 
enlightened. In reality it is an absolute mon- 
archy, ruled by the " heaven-descended mikado/' 



96 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

The empire belongs to him by divine right, and 
none has ever disputed this. Unquestioning, 
implicit obedience is the duty of all subjects. 
But the present emperor, who is a liberal-minded 
monarch, has graciously given his people a voice 
in the government In 1889 the constitution 
was promulgated, which laid the foundation for 
a new order of things. It established the Diet, 
consisting of two houses, and gave many rights 
to the people, including local self-government, 
within certain limits. The franchise is so limited 
in Japan that a man must annually pay a stipu- 
lated amount of tax before he can either vote or 
run for office. 

Japanese laws have for years been gradually 
approaching Western standards. The transition 
has been difficult and necessarily slow, but praise- 
worthy progress has been made. A code some- 
what resembling the Code Napoleon is now the 
law of the land, and is being applied in the courts 
as fast as circumstances will permit. People com- 
ing from Europe or America will find that, in 
the main, the laws are not very different from 
those they have been accustomed to. 

Nearly all the material expressions of an ad- 
vanced civilization found at home are likewise 
met with in Japan good railways, steamboats, 
telegraphs, mails, electric lights, etc. It is often 
a surprise to the traveler from the West who has 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 97 

read little about the country, and who expects 
only the rudest form of civilization, to find instead 
nearly all the conveniences to which he has been 
accustomed. 

RAILWAYS. Japanese railways are narrow 
gauge, and while in recent years the question of 
changing them to standard gauge has been agi- 
tated, nothing definite has been done. The nar- 
row-gauge system seems fairly adequate to the 
present demand. The railways are modeled after 
those of England, and are miniature as compared 
with those thundering monsters that make the 
American valleys tremble with their tread. The 
coaches are much smaller than the American and 
are differently arranged, opening on the side in- 
stead of the end, passage from one coach to an- 
other being precluded. There is no conductor 
to come around and disturb one with the continual 
cry of "Tickets!" The punchy punch, punch, so 
annoying to sensitive people, is not heard. As 
the passenger leaves the station to enter the train 
his ticket is examined, and this ends the matter 
until he reaches his destination, when he must 
pass out through the station, where his ticket is 
taken by a polite official. One of the things that 
have most impressed me about the railroad ser- 
vice is the kindness and politeness of the officials, 
in striking contrast with the gruff ness and incivil- 
ity one often encounters in America. 



98 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

The average Japanese train has three classes 
of coaches. The first class corresponds to the 
ordinary first-class day-coach at home; second 
class corresponds to our smoking-cars; while 
third class is poorer still. The fares are just 
about one half what they are in America, and one 
can travel in first-class style for a cent and a half 
per mile. Third-class fare is only a little over 
half a cent, and most of the people travel in this 
class. The trains do not have the conveniences 
to which my readers are accustomed. There are 
no sleeping- and dining-cars, no provision for 
heating in winter, and no water. The average 
running speed is about 20 miles per hour a rate 
which would not at all suffice for the high-ten- 
sioned, nervous, always-in-a-hurry civilization of 
the West, but which meets all the demands of 
the slower, quieter life of the East. Running at 
this rate, accidents are comparatively rare, and 
the trains easily make their scheduled time. 

There is one main trunk-line running through- 
out the length of the land, besides numerous 
shorter lines. All of the more prominent towns 
and cities are connected by rail. At present a 
railroad-construction craze has seized Japan. 
Many are being constructed, others are being sur- 
veyed, and the papers daily contain accounts of 
new ones projected. So far, Japanese railway 
stocks have yielded good dividends. That the 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 99 

more Important lines are owned and operated by 
the government is not the result of any political 
or economic theory, but simply because at first 
private individuals had neither the means nor the 
energy to inaugurate such huge and hitherto un- 
tried enterprises. Many of the smaller roads are 
now owned and controlled by private corporations, 
and most of those in process of construction are 
private enterprises. Some months ago a private 
corporation made a proposition to the government 
to buy its main railway, but the offer was rejected. 

STEAMERS. Steamboat service in Japan is 
good. As the country is only a range of islands, the 
largest of which are very narrow, and as all the 
more important towns are on the sea-coast or only 
a short distance inland, it is possible to go nearly 
everywhere by boat. Travel by water is very 
popular. There are fairly good steamers plying 
daily between the most important ports, but for- 
eigners generally prefer to travel only on those 
officered by Europeans or Americans. There 
are a number of native steamers, comfortable and 
speedy, which are officered by foreigners, and 
diff er but little from the transpacific liners. These 
were nearly all built in England, but in recent 
years they are building very good ones in Japan. 
The facilities for travel in this empire leave little 
to be desired. 

TELEGRAPHS. The Japanese telegraph sys- 



100 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

tern is excellent. It extends to all towns of any 
size in the empire, and by cable to all parts of 
the world. From the old city of Saga, in which 
I live, I can send a cablegram to any point in 
Europe or America. A telegraph code on the 
basis of the Morse code has been made in Japan, 
which admits of internal telegrams being trans- 
mitted in the native syllabary. In this respect 
the Japanese system is unique among Eastern 
countries. For instance, in India or China tele- 
grams can be transmitted only in Roman letters 
or Arabic figures. By the formation of a vernac- 
ular code the telegraph was brought within the 
reach of the masses of the people, and it soon 
became familiar and popular. 

The tariff for messages is perhaps lower than 
any other in the world. A message of ten kana, 
equaling about five English words, together with 
name and address of sender and receiver, can be 
sent to any part of the empire for eight or nine 
cents. Telegrams in foreign languages are sent 
within the empire for five sen per word, with a 
minimum charge of twenty-five sen for five words 
or a fraction thereof. No charge is made for 
delivery within a radius of 2\ miles of the tele- 
graph office. 

There are no private telegraph corporations. 
The government builds, owns, and operates the 
lines just as it does the mails. The postal and 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 101 

telegraph systems are intimately connected, and ' 
the same office does service for both. 

The first telegraph line in Japan was opened 
in 1869. The venture proving a success, the 
following year the line was extended and a gen- 
eral telegraphic system for the whole country de- 
cided upon. The rapid construction of telegraph 
lines began in 1872, from which year it has gone 
forward uninterruptedly. At present the lines 
extend to every corner of the empire. The first 
lines were surveyed, built, and operated under 
foreign experts ; but the natives have learned so 
rapidly that they have been enabled to do away 
with all foreign employees. All of the materials 
and instruments in use, with the exception of 
submarine cables and the most delicate electrical 
measuring apparatus, are made in Japan. 

MAILS. The Japanese mail system was mod- 
eled after the American in 1871. At first it was 
limited to postal service between the three large 
cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka; but in 1872 
it was extended to the whole country, with the 
exception of a certain part of the Hokkaido, which 
was without roads and almost without population. 
To-day there is no village or hamlet in the whole 
land which does not enjoy the convenience of a 
good postal system. The mails are sent with 
promptness and despatch, and it requires only a 
few days to communicate with any part of the 



102 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

empire. The postal rates are very low. Postal 
cards cost one sen and letters two sen about 
five eighths and one and two eighths of a cent, 
respectively. 

All mail is delivered free of charge. Not only 
is this so in the cities and larger towns, but in the 
villages and rural districts as well. There is no 
place where the dapper little postman does not 
go. Another convenience of the mail system is 
its excellent parcel-post department. Very large 
parcels, containing almost anything, can be sent 
for a small charge. Still another praiseworthy 
feature is that each office is a savings-bank, where 
the people can deposit small sums of money at 
any time and receive a good rate of interest. 
This money can be withdrawn without previous 
notice. The government has established these 
savings-banks in connection with the post-offices 
to encourage the people to lay up small sums of 
money, and they accomplish their purpose well. 

Japan was admitted into the International 
Postal Union in 1879, with full management of 
all her postal affairs. As all her rates are now 
based on a silver standard, postage to foreign 
countries is much cheaper than from them to 
Japan. To the United States or to China we 
pay five sen (about two and a half cents) per 
letter; to all other countries within the Postal 
Union ten sen per letter. 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 103 

LIGHTS. The system of lighting is an index 
of the civilization of a country. In this respect 
Japan is not yet so far advanced as the leading 
countries of the West, yet she is well lighted. In 
all the large cities there are good electric plants, 
and electricity is extensively used The streets 
and many of the best stores and shops are very 
well lighted with it. However, electric lights are 
seldom found in interior cities of less than 40,000 
people. I think electricity is too costly to come 
into general use, except in the centers. Illumi- 
nating gas is very little used. 

The only oil used in former times was extracted 
from whales and large fish, and chiefly from the 
seed of a certain tree. Since the opening of the 
country, kerosene has come into general use, 
immense quantities being imported from the 
United States and from Russia. Oil has been 
found in several places in Japan, but as yet has 
never been developed. 

BANKING. One of the most useful products 
of the introduction of our modern civilization 
is the present system of banking. This sys- 
tem will compare favorably with those of the 
West. There are a number of national banks 
distributed over all the land, together with many 
substantial private banking corporations. All 
forms of banking business are transacted, and 
good interest is given on deposits. The great 



104 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

popularity of the banks is shown by the fact that 
to-day in Tokyo, only eight years after bank- 
checks have come into use, the amount annually 
drawn exceeds $100,000,000. 

Having taken this rapid view of Japanese civili- 
zation, we are in a position to judge as to whether 
or not this is a civilized land ; and we answer that 
it is. But although modeled after that of the 
West, it in many respects differs from Western 
civilization. Japan has shown herself capable of 
doing great things, but she does not do them in 
the same way that they are done in Europe or 
America. For example, consider her manufac- 
;ories, which now threaten to compete with those 
of our own country. In America manufactories 
mean enormous capital invested. Costly factories 
must be erected, the most approved machinery 
provided, and the completed plant operated at 
great expense. Here almost no capital is used. 
The buildings are low, one-story sheds, not more 
costly than a row of stables at home. It is true 
that Japan has a few large, substantial buildings 
for manufacturing purposes; but such are rare, 
and, when found, look out of harmony with their 
surroundings. Even nature seems to protest 
against huge piles of brick and stone, as she so 
frequently demolishes them. Most of the wares 
of Japan are manufactured in small, cheap build- 
ings, and little machinery is used. The best silk 



JAPANESE CIVILIZATION 105 

made is woven in a house that cost scarcely 
$500. The best cloisonne, of which only a small 
piece a few inches high will cost hundreds of 
dollars, is made in a little, two-story house 
with only six rooms. Some of the greatest 
porcelain-makers in the world, whose products 
are better known in London and Paris than in 
their own country, do their work in small wooden 
houses in Kyoto, no better than the homes of 
the American laborer. " The vast rice crop is 
raised on millions of tiny farms; the silk crop in 
millions of small, poor homes; the tea crop on 
countless little patches of soil. Japan has be- 
come industrial without becoming essentially 
mechanical and artificial." * On this small scale 
the great work of Japan is done. Japanese civili- 
zation, in its parts, is miniature. 

When compared with the civilization of the 
West, it is unstable; in fact stability is almost 
unknown. The land itself is a land of change. 
The outlines of the coasts, the courses of the 
rivers, the form of the mountains, by the com- 
bined action of volcanoes, earthquakes, winds, 
and waves, are constantly changing. 

The people themselves are continually drifting 
about from place to place, changing their resi- 
dence with the seasons. It has been said that 
no people in the world are so migratory. Prepa- 

* Lafcadio Hearn. 



106 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

ration can be made in a few hours for the longest 
journey, and all the necessary baggage wrapped 
up in a handkerchief. Japanese life is in a con- 
stant state of fluidity. 

The average house, likewise, seems built but 
for a day. The walls, the roof, the floors, are 
made of the lightest materials, and apparently 
there is no thought of permanence. 

We of the West are wont to think that no real 
progress can be made without stability, but Japan 
has proved the contrary. A uniformly mobile 
race is, correspondingly, uniformly impression- 
able. The fluid mass of the Japanese people 
submits itself to the hands of its rulers as readily 
as the clay to the hands of the potter, and thus 
it moves with system and order toward great ends. 
It is thus that Japanese civilization is strong, 

When compared with Western civilization, that 
of Japan is seen to be less organized and de- 
veloped, less hasty and feverish in its movements, 
It does not impress one so much with its huge- 
ness and ponderosity. It is lighter, brighter, 
quieter, more soothing. It is the civilization of 
the West robbed of its immensity and seriousness, 
and reflecting the national characteristics of these 
light-hearted sons of the East 



VI 

JAPANESE MORALITY 

JAPANESE morality has been much written 
about by men of the West, and many dogmatic 
judgments have been pronounced upon it. At 
one extreme, we have been told that " they are 
the most immoral people on the face of the 
earth"; at the other, we are told that in mo- 
rality " they have nothing to learn from the people 
of Christendom/ 1 There is about as much or 
rather as little truth in the one statement as in 
the other. The fact is that it is necessary to have 
an experimental acquaintance with Japan before 
one can really understand or appreciate the moral 
condition of her people. The moral ideas and 
teachings to which they have been accustomed 
from childhood are so different from our own 
that they could not be expected to approximate 
to our standards. Judged by the ideas of the 
West, they are lacking in morality; but from 
107 



108 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

their own standpoint they are a moral people, 
While we cannot accept theirs as the true stan- 
dard, it is but fair that, in judging them, we keep 
this in view. 

Before the introduction of Chinese ethics there 
was no such thing as a moral code. The origi- 
nal native religion, Shinto, taught no doctrines of 
morality, as we understand them. According to 
it, to obey implicitly the mikado was the whole 
duty of man. As for the rest, if a Japanese 
obeyed the natural impulses of his own heart he 
would be sure to do right. Modern Shinto 
writers, in all seriousness, account for this absence 
of a moral code by stating that originally Japanese 
nature was pure, clean, and sinless, possessing no 
tendency to evil or wrong. Barbarians, like the 
Chinese and Americans, being by nature immoral, 
were forced to invent a moral code to control 
their actions ; but in Japan this was not necessary, 
as every Japanese acted aright if he only con- 
sulted his own heart. They explain the need for 
the present moral laws a need which they ac- 
knowledge by the fact of association with out- 
side nations. Immorality and dissoluteness were 
introduced by the Chinese and Western peoples, 
to counteract the evil influence of which they now 
have the shameful spectacle of a moral law even 
among the children of the (t heaven-descended 
mikado." So much for the teaching of Shinto in 



JAPANESE MORALITY 109 

regard to morality. It would be exasperating 
were it not ludicrous. 

Confucius is the master of Japanese morality. 
His teachings were introduced into Japan early 
in the Christian era, but they became predomi- 
nant only in the time of lyeyasu, in the seven- 
teenth century. This great statesman, warrior, 
and patron of learning caused the Chinese classics 
to be printed in Japan for the first time; and 
from that day to this the morality of Japan has 
been dominated by Confucian ideas. 

In order to understand Japanese morality, it is 
necessary for us to shift our moral base and try 
to look at the subject through Japanese eyes. 
The average native of the West thinks of " mo- 
rality " as something belonging to the individual. 
Even in religion his first thought is to save his 
own soul. The value of the soul, its immortality, 
its immediate relation to the infinite and eternal 
Father these have been emphasized ever since 
the first establishment of the church. In conse- 
quence, there is a duty which man owes to him- 
self. He may not disregard it even at the 
command of father or king. Within the soul is 
the holiest of all, for there is heard in conscience 
the voice of God himself. No external authority 
may be supreme, and at no external voice may 
one violate his own convictions of truth. 

This thought exalts the individual, and, there- 



110 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

fore, sins which degrade our own personality be- 
come most repulsive. Thus, among high-minded 
men truth is almost first among the virtues, and an 
accusation of falsehood the most hateful of insults. 
For truth seems peculiarly personal and spiritual, 
as if belonging to the very sanctuary of one's na- 
ture. And in like manner, among women, in 
popular esteem chastity is of the essence of mo- 
rality, as its violation seems to contaminate and 
debase her holiest self. 

Now the Confucian ethics rest upon a quite 
different principle, and in this are at one with the 
ancient teaching of the Greeks and Romans. The 
supreme duty is not to the self, but to the organ- 
ization of which one is but a part that is, to the 
family or to the state. The great Chinese mor- 
alists were statesmen, and their chief concern was, 
not the salvation of the individual, but the peace 
and prosperity of the state. In their view, the 
family was the unit, and the state a greater family. 
So the conflict of duties, in their questions of 
casuistry, is never between individual and social 
duties, but between duties owed to family and 
to state. Loyalty to the state and obedience to 
parents must be supreme ; but China and Japan 
differ as to the value of these two. 

According to original Confucianism, the first 
duty of men is obedience to parents ; the second, 
loyalty to rulers ; but in Japan the order of these 



JAPANESE MORALITY 111 

duties has been changed, the second being given 
first place. 

The people have learned well this teaching of 
Confucius. Japan was prepared soil for its sow- 
ing. The native religion taught that the emperor 
was a direct descendant of heaven, who ruled by 
divine right ; the provincial lords were his minis- 
ters, and hence loyalty was a plain duty. The 
Confucian teaching only strengthened, deepened, 
and gave form and outline to a sentiment already 
existing. This principle of loyalty thus became 
the foundation stone of Japanese ethics, and one's 
duty to one's lord paramount to all other duties. 

In the olden times the people did not look 
beyond their own feudal lords and clans to the 
emperor and the nation. They were to be faith- 
ful unto death to these, but no further. Now 
that loyalty once shown to the local princes and 
clans finds its apotheosis in the emperor and the 
empire. 

A man's duty to his friends, to his wife and 
children, and even to his parents, is counted as 
nothing in comparison with his duty to rulers and 
country. There are many instances in Japanese 
history of men who, having slain their own pa- 
rents, children, wives, for the sake of their prince, 
were praised. At the time of the recent tidal 
wave in northern Japan, when the waters were 
rushing furiously into one home, a husband and 



112 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

father turned a deaf ear to the cries of his drown- 
ing wife and children, permitting them to perish 
that he might save the emperor's picture ; and he 
was applauded for the act. A fire recently de- 
molished the beautiful new buildings of the middle 
school in Saga. The library, laboratories, and 
scientific apparatus were mostly destroyed, and 
many of the students lost their clothing and 
books. The loss in buildings alone was some 
$20,000. Yet the thing the loss of which they 
lamented most deeply was a photograph of the 
emperor which could easily be replaced for a few 
yen. 

A characteristic story, showing the devotion 
with which the old samurai carried out this prin- 
ciple of loyalty, is the tale of the forty-seven 
ronins. It is rather long to insert here, but as it 
illustrates so well the power of this principle, I 
will relate it. 

In the year 1701 the lord of Ako, Asano by 
name, visited Yedo to pay his respects to the 
shogun. While there the shogun appointed him 
to receive and entertain an envoy from the mi- 
kado. Now, the reception of an envoy from the 
imperial court was one of the greatest state cere- 
monies of the day, and as Asano knew little of 
ceremonies and etiquette, he asked the advice of 
another nobleman, named Kira, who was expert 
In such matters. This man, who seems to have 



JAPANESE MORALITY 113 

been of a very mean disposition, grudgingly gave 
the information desired, and then asked a fee for 
the same. Asano refused to give the fee, and 
Kira, becoming angry, twitted and jeered at him, 
calling him a country lout, unworthy the name 
of daimio. Asano endured the insults patiently 
until Kira peremptorily ordered him to stoop 
down and fasten his foot-gear for him, a most 
menial service, when he drew his sword and 
gave the offender a deep cut across the face. 
This quarrel took place in the precincts of the 
palace, and instantly the whole court was in an 
uproar. To degrade the sacred place was an 
insult punishable with death and the confiscation 
of all property ; and Asano was condemned to 
take his own life by hara-kiri that same evening, 
his estates were confiscated, his family declared 
extinct, and his clan disbanded. Henceforth his 
retainers became ronins ("wandering men"), 
with no country and no lord. According to the 
ethics of their country, it was their bounden duty 
to avenge the death of their lord, and we shall 
see how relentlessly they followed their purpose 
until it was accomplished. 

The senior retainer of the dead Asano, Oishu 
Kuranosuke, together with forty-six others of his 
most trusty fellow-lieges, took counsel as to how 
they might avenge their lord. They all were 
willing to lay down their lives in the attempt, but 



114 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

even then the task was difficult, because of the 
vigilance of the government. For such venge- 
ance was rigidly prohibited by law, although as 
rigidly required by custom. Notwithstanding 
the fact that all who slew an enemy for vengeance 
were punished by death, not to take such vengeance 
never entered the mind of any chivalrous Japanese. 
After much planning the forty-seven ronins 
decided that to avoid the suspicions of the govern- 
ment it would be necessary for them to separate 
and for the time conceal their purpose. So they 
separated, settling in different cities, and taking 
up various occupations. Many of them became 
carpenters, smiths, and merchants, and in these 
capacities gained access to Kira's house and 
learned all about its interior arrangements. The 
leader of this faithful band, Oishu, went to Kyoto 
and plunged into a life of drunkenness and de- 
bauchery. He even put away his wife and chil- 
dren, and led the most dissolute life possible, 
simply to throw off the suspicions of the author- 
ities. All of the ronins were closely watched by 
spies, who secretly reported their conduct to Kira. 
But by these devices they finally lulled all suspi- 
cion, and the vigilance ceased. Then the day 
long waited for had come. Suddenly, on the 
night of January 30, 1703, two years after the 
death of their lord, in the midst of a violent snow- 
storm, these forty-seven faithful men attacked 



JAPANESE MORALITY 115 

Kira's castle, forced the gate, and slew all the 
retainers. Kara, who was a coward at heart, 
concealed himself in an outhouse. The ronins 
found him there, drew him forth, and requested 
him to kill himself by hara-kiri, as was the privi- 
lege of a man of his rank. But he refused out 
of fear, and the retainers of Asano were forced 
to kill him as they would have killed a common 
coolie. Thus did they accomplish their purpose 
and fulfil the high duty of loyalty to their dead 
lord, after two years of waiting, most careful 
planning, and ceaseless vigilance. 

By the time their purpose was accomplished 
day had dawned, and, in plain view of the whole 
city, this brave band marched in order to the 
temple of Sengakuji, where Asano was buried. 
The citizens showed them every honor on the 
way. A wealthy nobleman, as a reward for their 
loyal deed, sent them out costly refreshments. 
When they arrived at the temple the head abbot 
received them in person and showed them every 
honor. Finding the grave of their dead lord, they 
laid thereon the head of the enemy by whom he 
had been so deeply wronged, and then felt that 
their duty was done. They were all sentenced 
to commit hara-kiri, which they did willingly. 
Afterward they were buried together in the same 
temple grounds with their lord, where their graves 
can be seen to this day, 



116 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

These men simply obeyed the ethical code of 
their time and country, and as a reward for their 
loyalty they have received the enthusiastic praise 
of their countrymen for two centuries. No other 
story is so popular to-day, or so stirs the hearts 
of the people, as this. While we, believing that 
vengeance belongs to the Lord, cannot indorse 
this deed, we must admire the loyalty and faith- 
fulness of those ronins, and the perseverance 
with which they adhered to their purpose. In 
this true story we see clearly the power of this 
first principle of Japanese morality loyalty. 

The sister principle of loyalty in Confucian 
ethics is obedience to parents. Unquestioning, 
absolute, implicit obedience is required of all 
children. Formerly the child was considered the 
property of the parents, and could be disposed of 
at will, even to the taking of its life. To-day 
the father may sell his daughter to a life of shame, 
or " lend " her to a private individual for immoral 
purposes; and, however much she may dislike 
such a life, obedience to parents requires that she 
acquiesce in his will, which she does uncomplain- 
ingly. 

This principle of obedience is the foundation 
stone of Japanese family life. The relation be- 
tween parents and children is stronger than that 
between man and wife, and is given a prior place. 
An only son cannot be forced to leave his mother 



JAPANESE MORALITY 117 

and become a soldier, but a husband may be 
forced to leave his wife. Within the family circle, 
the son's duty to his aged parents always precedes 
his duty to his wife. Every Japanese feels deeply 
this obligation to his parents, and properly to sup- 
port and nourish them in old age he holds to be 
a sacred duty. Americans could learn much that 
would be profitable from the reverence and respect 
shown for parents and teachers by the Japanese. 

In Japan, however, this principle is carried too 
far. It continues after death as binding as before, 
and divine honors are paid to dead ancestors. 
Periodical visits are made to their tombs, religious 
candles are kept burning in their honor, and 
prayers are said to them. Among the more 
enlightened to-day there is perhaps nothing in 
these ceremonies but reverence and respect; yet 
by the masses of the people ancestors are wor- 
shiped. 

There are two moral maxims that show well 
the relative importance in which parents, relatives, 
and wives are held. They are the following: 
" Thy father and thy mother are like heaven and 
earth ; thy teacher and thy lord are like the sun 
and the moon." " Other kinsfolk may be likened 
to the rushes; husbands and wives are but as 
useless stones." 

It is apparent that virtues have differing values 
in the Confucian and Christian systems. We can 



118 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

appreciate their point of view best, perhaps, as we 
remember the ethics of an army. Here obedi- 
ence, loyalty, self-devotion, courage, are supreme. 
Much is forgiven if these are manifested. The 
organization is everything, and the individual 
nothing, save as he is a fraction of the great ma- 
chine. Carry that idea into the social commu- 
nity, and think of it as an army, with all, women 
as well as men, of value only as parts of the 
greater whole, and we shall understand why and 
how the Japanese may esteem men and women 
righteous whom we judge debased and even crim- 
inal. So would the Japanese judge them, were 
the motive mere passion or selfish desire, but not 
when the controlling power is loyalty or obedi- 
ence. Thus the forty-seven ronin were pre- 
eminently " righteous " when they debauched 
themselves with every swinish vice. 

Of course this view of morality puts great 
temptation in the way of parents and rulers. 
Having supreme power, they may use it to the 
degradation of those whom they control. Con- 
fucius, it is true, taught parents and rulers that 
they too owed duties to the state, and that use 
of their Heaven-given powers for selfish ends 
was treason against the supreme law ; but, beyond 
doubt, the duty of submission, of loyalty and un- 
questioning obedience, was so exaggerated that 
evils many and great resulted. At the same time 



JAPANESE MORALITY 119 

a sympathetic view leads one to wonder the 
rather that the ethical results are so wholesome. 

Turning from this general view, one finds in 
particulars much the same conditions as in other 
lands. For example, immense quantities of alco- 
holic stimulants are consumed annually. There 
is a native liquor called " sake/' made from rice, 
that is very popular and, in some of its forms, 
very intoxicating. Its manufacture and sale is 
one of the most lucrative businesses in the em- 
pire. Foreign whiskies, wines, and beers are 
sold in large quantities, but they are so costly 
as to be beyond the reach of all but the wealthy. 
Outside of the small circle of Christians, there 
are few people who do not drink. The total 
abstainer is a rarity. But, while nearly every 
one drinks, in general the Japanese do not drink 
to such excess as other nations. One seldom 
sees such beastly drunkenness as is often seen in 
the West. Drinking is taken as a matter of course, 
and society does not condemn it. The usual way 
in which Japanese men pass a dull day is in feast- 
ing and drinking. The use of alcoholic stimulants 
is much more common here than at home. 

In business and commercial morality there is 
much to be desired. The merchants do not sell 
according to the worth of an article, but according 
to what they can make the purchaser pay. They 
are great bargainers. Recently I wanted to buy 



120 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

two large wall-pictures. The dealer asked me 
$21 for them, but finally sold them for $5. It 
is a very common thing to buy articles for less 
than half the price first asked. In matters of 
veracity and in the fulfilment of contracts Japa- 
nese merchants are not generally to be trusted. 
The average man is famous for lying, and the 
merchants and tradesmen seem to have acquired 
an extra share of this general characteristic. A 
Japanese trader will do all in his power to 
avoid the fulfilment of a contract if it entails a 
loss. This lack of commercial honor is recognized 
by the foreign firms doing business here, and it has 
hindered not a little the growth and development 
of trade. 

The moral sense of the people in regard to 
taking one's own life is very different from that 
of Christendom. From ancient times, suicide has 
been thought to be a praiseworthy act, and has 
been extensively practised. Formerly it was en- 
couraged, and sometimes required, by the govern- 
ment ; but now it has no official sanction whatever. 
Still, the custom exists, and some authorities place 
the annual number of suicides as high as 10,000. 
The people laugh at our Western idea that it is 
wrong to take one's own life. On the contrary, 
they hold that when misfortunes and calamities 
make this life unattractive it is the part of wisdom 
to end it. Even the feelings of young Japanese f 



JAPANESE MORALITY 121 

who have been educated somewhat into our own 
way of thinking, do not seem to have changed 
on this point ; they still adhere to the old Roman 
view that self-destruction is permissible and often 
meritorious. The Western fiction that all suicides 
are the result of some form of insanity is not 
countenanced here. The various causes leading 
to self-destruction are coolly and carefully tabu- 
lated, and very few are attributed to insanity. 
Contrariwise, long and careful study of the sub- 
ject has shown that self-destruction is gone about 
with as much coolness, precision, and judgment 
as any act of daily life. 

The above are in brief the leading moral ideas 
and principles that govern the Japanese people. 
For their loyalty and obedience we have only admi- 
ration. But both of these principles are given an 
undue importance and are carried to extremes. 
The chief defect of Japanese morality is the minor 
place it gives to the individual. The moral need of 
the nation is a Christian morality not just the 
morality of the West, but a morality founded on 
the ethical principles inculcated in the Bible. This 
would exalt truth and chastity, would soften and 
temper the great duties of loyalty and obedience, 
and would make of Japan an honest, temperate 
nation. 



VII 

RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 

THE Japanese are by nature a religious people. 
In the earliest times a conglomerate mass of super- 
stitions and mythological ideas was made to do 
service as a religion. Fetishism, phallicism, ani- 
mism, and tree- and serpent- worship were very 
common. The line of distinction between the 
Creator and the creature was not clearly marked ; 
gods and men mingled and intermingled, and were 
hardly known apart. But it is not our purpose 
here to trace the ancient religious ideas of Japan, 
but rather to give a short account of contemporary 
religions. Therefore we cannot dwell on these 
unwritten mythological-religious systems. 

The religions of contemporary Japan are four 
Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Tenrikyo. 
Shinto and Tenrikyo are indigenous ; Buddhism 
and Confucianism have been imported from China 
and Korea. Tenrikyo is of recent origin and has 
122 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 

not yet the influence and standing of the others. 
Shinto, Buddhism, and Confucianism have existed 
here side by side for centuries. There is no great 
antagonism between them, as there is between 
Christianity and the ethnic religions. Many of 
the people are disciples of all three at the same 
time, taking their theology from Shinto, their so- 
teriology and eschatology from Buddhism, and 
their moral and economic ideas from Confucian- 
ism. No inconsistency is felt in thus believing 
all three religions and worshiping at their shrines. 
Indeed, these three faiths have so commingled, 
the ideas and practices of one have so filtered into 
the others, that it is hard now to distinguish the 
pure teachings of each. In the minds of the masses 
they are not distinguished in detail. And yet as 
regards origin, history, and teachings they are 
separate and distinct faiths. 

Shinto 

Shinto may be called the national cult of Japan. 
The word " Shinto' 1 means " the way of the gods." 
This system hardly deserves the name religion. 
It has no moral code, no dogmas, no sacred books. 
Originally it consisted chiefly of ancestor- and 
nature- worship, and of certain mythological ideas. 
A chief feature of it still is the worship of ances- 
tors, who are exalted to a high pedestal in thought 



124 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

and worshiped as gods. The divine origin of the 
imperial family, and the obligation to worship and 
obey it, was a prominent teaching of Shinto. The 
ancestors of the imperial family were to be held 
in supreme reverence and were the objects of 
especial worship. 

According to the Shinto of this period, there 
was neither heaven nor hell, but only an inter- 
mediate Hades. There was a sort of priesthood, 
but its duty was to watch over particular local 
gods, not to preach to the people. Pure Shinto 
taught that a man's whole duty lay in absolute 
obedience to the mikado and in following the 
natural promptings of his own heart, 

Shinto was very much affected by the intro- 
duction of Buddhism, about the middle of the 
sixth century, and its further growth was checked, 
Buddhism adopted and largely absorbed it. 
Shinto gods were given a place in the Buddhist 
pantheon, and many of the Shinto ceremonies were 
adopted. But Shinto was completely overshad- 
owed by Buddhism, and lay in a dormant state 
from the year 550 to 1700, a night of more than 
a thousand years. 

Since the beginning of the eighteenth century 
a revival of Shinto has sprung up. Native scholars 
tried to cali up the past, to find out what pure 
Shinto was before its corruption by Buddhism, 
and to teach it as the national faith. In this effort 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 

they were partially successful. The old Buddhis- 
tic accretions were largely thrown off, and many 
of the temples, stripped of their Buddhist orna- 
ments, were handed over to the Shinto priests. 
Buddhism was disestablished, and Shinto again be- 
came the religion of the state, A Shinto " Coun- 
cil for Spiritual Affairs" was appointed, which 
had equal rank with the Council of State. This, 
however, was reduced gradually to the rank of a 
department, then to a bureau, later to a sub-bureau. 
At present Shinto is the state religion, in so far 
as there can be said to be any state religion ; but 
in reality there is no established religion. The 
connection of the government with Shinto extends 
fio further than the maintenance of certain temples 
and the attendance of certain officials on some 
ceremonies. Shinto enjoys a large amount of 
popularity because it is indigenous, while Bud- 
dhism and Confucianism labor under the disadvan- 
tage of being of foreign origin. The majority of 
the upper classes in Japan who to-day have any 
religion at all are Shintoists. 

Buddhism 

The religion founded by Buddha in India is six 
centuries older than Christianity. Its nominal 
adherents comprise almost one third of the 
human race. Its philosophical precepts are deep 



26 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

and profound, while its ethical teachings are, for 
the most part, lofty and ennobling. This religion 
is worthy the careful study of any man who has 
the time and inclination. 

We cannot attempt to give a full exposition of 
it, but will have to content ourselves with a bare 
mention of its more prominent teachings. Certain 
resemblances to Catholicism in ritual, ceremony, 
and ornamentation strike one very forcibly in ob- 
serving Buddhist rites. The candles, the incense, 
the images and processions, all resemble Rome. 
But this resemblance extends no further than 
ritual and ceremony. In point of doctrine Bud- 
dhism is widely separated from every form of 
Christianity. In Buddhism the condition on 
which grace is received is not faith, but knowledge 
and enlightenment. Salvation is accomplished, 
not by the vicarious sufferings of a Redeemer, 
but by self-perfection through self-denial and 
discipline. 

Dr. Griffis, a man who has written much and 
well on Japan, has pronounced the principal fea- 
tures of Buddhism to be atheism, metempsychosis, 
or the transmigration of souls, and absence of 
caste. 

Buddhism knows nothing of the existence of a 
supreme God who created the world. It inherited 
ideas of certain gods from Brahmanism, but these 
are made secondary to the hotoke, or buddhas, 




A BUDDHIST PRIEST. 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 127 

who are simply men who have finally reached 
the calm of perfect holiness after toiling through 
endless ages and countless existences. It teaches 
that existence itself is the chief of all evils. In- 
stead of longing for eternal life, the Buddhist 
longs for annihilation. Happy, well-fed Western 
people, to whom existence is a delight, can hardly 
understand how any one can really desire its ces- 
sation. But the life of the lower classes in many 
countries of the East is one daily struggle for 
bread, so full of sorrow and misery that it is not 
unnatural they should desire to end it. 

This religion teaches that the evil of existence 
springs from the double root of ignorance and 
human passions, and is to be overcome by know- 
ledge and self-discipline. The heaven it offers is 
absorption in the Nirvana the loss of personal 
identity and practical annihilation. 

Buddhism numbers more devotees and exerts 
a greater influence than any of the other religions 
of Japan. It was received from Korea about the 
middle of the sixth century. After it had been 
transplanted and had grown into popular favor, 
many Japanese were sent to Korea and China to 
study its doctrines more fully ; and they brought 
back with them not only Buddhism, but also 
Chinese literature and civilization. At first 
Buddhism encountered fierce opposition, but it 
was fortunate in securing court patronage, and 



128 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

very soon the opposition entirely ceased, so that 
in two or three centuries it spread itself through- 
out the whole empire. If ever a nation was ripe 
for the introduction of a foreign religion, that 
nation was Japan at that time. The national cult 
was silent, or almost so, in regard to the destiny 
of man and many other questions which religion 
is expected to answer. The religious nature of 
the people was asserting itself, and they were 
longing for more light on the great questions of 
life its whence, why^ and whither. Buddhism 
gave this light, and therefore was warmly wel- 
comed. It had the whole field to itself, and took 
complete possession of it. 

From the time of its introduction into Japan 
down to the present, Buddhism has enjoyed a 
wide popularity and exerted a powerful influence. 
It is not too much to say that Buddhism has 
largely formed Japanese civilization and national 
life. In the words of Professor Chamberlain, 
"All education was for centuries in Buddhist 
hands. Buddhism introduced art and medicine, 
molded the folk-lore of the country, created its 
dramatic poetry, deeply influenced politics and 
every sphere of social and intellectual activity. 
In a word, Buddhism was the teacher under 
whose instruction the Japanese nation grew up/' 

Buddhism has by no means lost its hold in 
Japan. It still has great life and power. Some 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 129 

writers have said that they have never seen a new 
temple in Japan only old ones falling into decay. 
Their experience must have been limited. I see 
plenty of new temples, some of which are very 
costly. 

Buddhist temples are numerous, and many are 
of imposing architecture. Being generally sur- 
rounded by tall trees, they have a lonely, mourn- 
ful appearance. Hideous beasts, dragons, and 
serpents are carved upon them, and large, fierce- 
looking stone lions guard them, the effect being 
to awe and terrify the beholder. Some are fur- 
nished with gorgeous altars covered with beautiful 
flowers, images, and statues. Besides the temples 
there are everywhere little shrines. The religious 
spirit of the people prompts them to dedicate the 
most beautiful spots and nooks to the gods, and 
there to erect shrines and idols. 

Buddhist priests dress in robes not very unlike 
the official robes of the Episcopal clergy. Their 
heads are always close-shaven, a mark by which 
they are easily distinguished. Forbidden to 
marry, they are expected to lead lives of purity 
and chastity. They have greatly degenerated, a 
large per cent, being illiterate and immoral. Their 
lives will not bear comparison with those of the 
Christian evangelists. That nearly all the ceme- 
teries of Japan are in their hands gives them great 
influence. 



130 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

Japanese Buddhism is divided into numerous 
sects, chief of which are the Tendai, Shingon, 
Jodo, and Zen, of Chinese origin, and the Shin 
and Nichiren, of native origin. The latter two 
are most prosperous. 

Buddhism has profited by its contact with 
Christianity. As the reaction of Protestantism 
upon Catholicism was beneficial to the latter, so 
the reaction of Christianity upon Buddhism has 
been healthful. It has forced a revival and puri- 
fication of the Buddhist faith, and to-day it is 
better and more active than before it encountered 
Christianity. Still, Christianity is gradually en- 
croaching upon its domain and is crippling its 
influence. That Buddhism is bound to perish in 
its encounter with Western civilization and Chris- 
tianity seems a foregone conclusion. 

Confucianism 

Confucianism is even less deserving the name 
of a religion than Shinto. It consists chiefly in a 
set of moral teachings, of narrow application and 
mostly of a political nature. Confucius, avoiding 
all metaphysical abstractions and devotional rhap- 
sodies, confined himself to the much more practi- 
cal field of morals and politics. But his disciples 
and commentators, especially during the middle 
ages, expanded his doctrines and added ideas 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 131 

more or less religious. Thus developed, it be- 
came a sort of religious system, the only one 
believed by the old samurai or warrior classes. 

Confucius, its founder, was born in the year 
55 1 B.C., in the state of Lu, province of Shantung, 
China. He was an earnest student of the older 
Chinese classics, and one of the most learned 
men of his time. He gathered round him a circle 
of young men, whom he instructed, like Socrates, 
by questions and answers. He died in 478 B.C. 
No other human teacher has had more disciples 
or exerted a wider and stronger influence. 

From its birthplace in China Confucianism 
spread to Korea, where it soon became, and still 
continues to be, the predominant faith. From 
Korea it advanced to the Japanese archipelago, 
where for many hundred years it has had much 
to do with shaping and molding the character of 
the people. Confucianism has undergone many 
modifications. At first a comparatively simple 
system of ethics and politics, it has expanded until 
to-day it is a complicated philosophico-religious 
system. 

The basal principles of Confucian ethics are the 
"five relations." These are: sovereign and 
minister ; father and son ; husband and wife ; elder 
brother and younger brother ; friend and friend. 
I have named them in the order of their impor- 
tance. The duty of loyalty is above that of filial 



132 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

obedience, while the relation of husband and wife 
is inferior to both of these. We will briefly con- 
sider each of these relations separately. 

The duty of a minister, or servant, to his prince, 
or sovereign, is the first duty of man, and is em- 
phasized to an extreme degree. In order to dis- 
charge this obligation to the feudal lord or em- 
peror, one must, if necessary, give up everything : 
house, lands, kinsmen, name, fame, wife, children, 
society all. And Japanese history is filled with 
instances of retainers who have counted their lives, 
their families, their all, as less than nothing when 
compared with their duty to their lord. Loyalty 
is the one idea which dominates all others in the 
Confucianism of Japan. Thus it has exerted an 
influence hardly second to Shinto in inculcating 
loyalty to the emperor and to Japan, and making 
the people fanatically patriotic. 

The second relation is that of father and son, 
or parent and child. My readers perhaps would 
consider the relation of husband and wife the first 
of all human relations, but not so the Oriental. 
With him the family is of far more importance 
than the individual, and the chief aim of marriage 
is the maintenance of the family line. If the wife 
becomes a mother she is honored because she as- 
sists in perpetuating the family line ; if she is child- 
less she is probably neglected. Where there are 
no children adoption is the universal practice. 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 133 

The one adopted takes the family name and per- 
petuates it. No greater misfortune can be con- 
ceived than for the house to become extinct. 

The relation of parent and child is very dif- 
ferent from that to which we are accustomed. 
Mutual love hardly exists. The parent feels 
compassion and love for his child ; the child rev- 
erences the parent. To speak of a child's love 
for his father, or a man's love for God, is repug- 
nant to the Confucianist. It is thought to be 
taking an undue familiarity, and the proper re- 
lation is considered one of dependence and rev- 
erence. In old Japan the father was' absolute lord 
and master, and had power over the life and death 
of his child. In recent times his power is more 
limited, and the idea is beginning to dawn upon 
thinking natives that children have rights as well 
as duties. A Japanese child feels more reverence 
for its parents, or at least for its father, than does 
the average child reared in the Christian homes 
of the West. 

The third relation is that of husband and wife. 
On this point the teaching of Confucius is very 
different from that of Christ. Instead of having 
two parties bound together by mutual love, with 
equal rights and duties, we have the relation of 
superior and inferior, of master and servant. The 
husband precedes the wife in all things. She 
must serve him and his family zealously and un- 



134 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

complainingly. She must be especially on her 
guard against the foolish sin of jealousy, and is 
not to complain if her husband introduces a con- 
cubine into the same house in which she resides. 
She is to yield absolute obedience to him in all 
things. She can be divorced for very slight 
reasons, and divorces are matters of every- day 
occurrence. Statistics show that the annual 
number of divorces is about one third the num- 
ber of marriages. Sentiment is gradually chang- 
ing in this regard, and marriage and divorce laws 
are becoming more strict. 

Confucius condemned adultery as a heinous 
crime, but this teaching is made to apply only to 
the wife. She must remain true to her husband, 
but he is not considered under the same obliga- 
tion to her. 

The fourth relation is that of elder brother and 
younger brother. This is evident from the lan- 
guage used to express the relation of children of 
the same household to one another. The word 
for brother or sister is seldom used ; in fact, there 
is no word to express just that idea. In its stead 
we hear " elder brother/' " elder sister/' and 
" younger brother/ 5 " younger sister." The chil- 
dren of a household are not considered equals ; the 
elder ones are given the preference in all things. 
Especially does the eldest son hold a position 
of prominence far above that of the other children. 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 135 

He is looked upon as the perpetuator of the family 
line an$ is given especial honor. His younger 
brothers and his sisters, and even his mother, 
must serve and obey him. 

The younger sons are subjects for adoption into 
other families, especially into those where there 
are daughters to be married and family names to 
be perpetuated. This is in accordance with the 
Eastern idea that the house is of more importance 
than the individual. Confucian ethics largely 
overlooks the idea of personality. 

The fifth relation is that between friends. Some 
writers have spoken of this as that of man to man, 
and have thus read Christian ideas into Confu- 
cianism ; but this relation as taught by Confucius 
is only between friends. As regards man and 
man, Confucius taught the duties of courtesy and 
propriety, but no others. He taught the duty 
of kindness to strangers, but most students of his 
writings are of the opinion that he did not include 
foreigners among strangers. The nearest ap- 
proach to Christianity in Confucianism is the 
negative of the golden rule, "Do not do unto 
others as you would not have others do unto 
you." This approaches the teaching of Christ 
very nearly, but only in a negative form. Some 
have thought that Confucius taught -the duty of 
returning good for evil, but this is a mistake. 
One of his contemporaries, Lao-tse, did teach 



136 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

this duty; but when Confucius was asked about 
it he replied, " What, then, will you return for 
good? Recompense ^nj^iry with justice, and re- 
turn good for good." 

Certain it is that this relation, as understood in 
Japan, does not apply to foreigners. How the 
Japanese treated foreigners in former times is 
well known. Foreign sailors shipwrecked on her 
coasts were tortured and executed. Ships from 
abroad, bringing shipwrecked Japanese back to 
their own country, were met with powder and 
ball and repulsed. Commodore Perry, in at- 
tempting to establish a treaty with Japan, justly 
complained to the native authorities that the 
dictates of humanity had not been followed, that 
shipwrecked men were treated with useless cru- 
elty, and that Japan's attitude toward her neigh- 
bors and all the world was that of an enemy and 
not of a friend. The fifth relation did not teach 
a common brotherhood of men and obligations of 
kindness to foreigners. It applied only to the 
charmed circle of friendship. 

On these five relations rests the whole Japanese 
social and moral structure. Family and national 
life has been shaped and molded by them, 
They are the ten commandments of the East. 
How very different from the principles which 
have determined our own family and social life! 

Confucianism in Japan has been developed into 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 137 

a highly complicated religious system, and in this 
form is believed by large numbers of high-class, 
educated Japanese. It is wholly pantheistic in 
its teaching, having points of resemblance with 
German pantheism. It knows no such thing as 
God as a separate existence. Rather, all is God. 
Dr. Martin, of China, has well styled it " a pan- 
theistic medley." 

Although Confucianism has long had a strong 
hold upon Japanese minds, its influence is waning. 
The ancient classics are little studied, and the 
younger generation knows almost nothing of 
them. The great temple of Confucius in Tokyo, 
the Seido, has been changed into an educational 
museum. 

Tenrikyo 

Perhaps some will think that Tenrikyo does not 
deserve mention along with the before-named 
great religions. Certainly it is not worthy of the 
respect accorded to them, and has not exerted 
such an influence as they have. It is of very 
recent origin and is as yet confined to the lower 
strata of society. But its disciples constitute one 
of the most vigorous and active religious bodies 
in Japan to-day. Its growth has been remark- 
ably rapid, especially during the past five years. 
Government recognition has been already gained, 
and it is gradually making a place for itself among 



138 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the religions of Japan. Some authorities place 
the number of its adherents as high as 5,000,000, 
but these figures are probably too high. 

Tenrikyo is a missionary religion, having very 
earnest representatives in almost every dis- 
trict in Japan. These men rely almost ex- 
clusively upon preaching for the propagation of 
their doctrines, and their efforts are generally 
successful. 

Space permits us to say only a few words in 
regard to the origin of this religion. Its founder 
was a peasant woman named Nakayama Miiki, 
popularly called Omiiki, who was born of a very 
poor family in the province of Yamato in 1798, 
There was nothing remarkable about her life until 
her fortieth year, when she fell into a trance. 
While in this state one of the old Shinto deities, 
Kuni-Toko-Tachi No Mikoto, appeared to her, 
and, after causing her much distress, left her for 
a short time undisturbed. After this brief inter- 
val of quiet she again fell into a trance, and was 
visited by a large number of gods, some of them 
the greatest of the Shinto pantheon. These gods 
revealed to her the substance of her teaching, 
representing it as the only true doctrine and 
the one which would ultimately triumph over all 
others. They also informed her that she was the 
divinely appointed instrument through whom this 
revelation was to be given to the world. From 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 130 

this time forward Omiiki devoted herself to the 
propagation of this revelation. 

Not wishing to break entirely with the old re- 
ligions, she represented her revelation as having 
been received from the Shinto gods, and gave a 
place in her teaching to some prominent Buddhist 
elements. By this means she won popular favor 
and gained an earnest hearing. 

The term "Tenrikyo" signifies the " Doctrine 
of the Heavenly Reason." While many of its 
teachings differ but little from current Shinto and 
Buddhistic ideas, its more prominent tenets are 
radically different. 

In the first place, Tenrikyo tends much toward 
monotheism. Omiiki herself accepted polytheism, 
but taught that man's real allegiance is due to the 
sun and the moon. These she regarded as the 
real gods ; but as they always work together, and 
as the world and all things therein are the product 
of their joint working, they are practically one. 
Since her death the teaching has become more 
and more monotheistic in tendency, and some of 
its preachers teach explicit monotheism. 

Omiiki taught a new relation between the gods 
and men a relation of parents to children. The 
gods watch over and love their children just as 
earthly parents do. The emperor is the elder 
brother of the people, who rules as the represen- 
tative of the divine parents. 



140 THE GIST OP JAP AH 

Faith-healing formed a prominent part in the 
original teaching of Tenrikyo. It asserted that 
neither physicians nor medicine was needed, but 
that cures are to be effected through faith alone. 
Marvelous stories are told of the wonderful cures 
it has accomplished, many of which seem well 
authenticated. But while there seems no good 
reason for doubting the genuineness of some of 
these cures, the power of mind over mind, and 
the influence of personal magnetism in certain 
kinds of nervous disorders, are so well known that 
they can be easily explained without any reference 
to the supernatural. The faith-cure feature of 
this religion is now falling into disuse. 

Tenrikyo makes very little of the future state, 
although Omiiki assumed its reality. In one 
passage she refers to the soul as an emanation 
from the gods, and says that after death it will 
go back to them. She teaches that the cause of 
suffering, disease, and sin is found in the impurity 
of the human heart, and that the heart must be 
cleansed before believers can receive the divine 
favor. She insists over and over again that no 
prayers nor religious services are of any avail so 
Jong as the heart is impure. 

The aim of Omiiki and her followers seems 
to be a worthy one. The movement is highly 
ethical, and there is little doubt but that the ad- 
herents of the Tenrikyo are superior in morals to 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 141 

the rest of their class. Some features of this new 
religion are, however, looked upon with suspicion, 
and it is being closely watched by the government. 
Charges of gross immorality have been preferred 
against it, especially in reference to the midnight 
dances, in which both sexes are said to participate 
indiscriminately ; but these charges are made by 
its enemies and have never been proved. 

In many respects Tenrikyo materially differs 
from the other religions of Japan. Its adherents 
assemble at stated times for worship and instruc- 
tion, while the Buddhists assemble in the temples 
for worship and preaching only three or four times 
a year, and the Shintoists seldom, if ever, as- 
semble. The worship of Tenrikyo, for the most 
part, consists of praise and thanksgiving by music 
and dancing ; but prayer is also practised. 

Another distinguishing characteristic of Ten- 
rikyo is that it is exclusive. The other religions 
of Japan are very tolerant of one another; one 
may believe them all. But Tenrikyo will not 
tolerate either Buddhism or Shinto. Its adherents 
must give their allegiance to it alone. 

It is interesting to conjecture as to the influence 
Christianity has had upon Tenrikyo. It does not 
seem probable that Omiiki was at all influenced 
by it, unless the traditions of the Catholic Chris- 
tianity of some two or three hundred years pre- 
vious reached her in some way. But the expansion 



142 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

and development of the system by its later 
teachers have been very much affected by Chris- 
tianity. Some of its present preachers, in con- 
structing their sermons, borrow largely from 
Christian sources. In the minds of the common 
people Tenrikyo is generally associated with 
Christianity. 

There are several other small religious sects in 
Japan, such as the Remmon Kyokwai, Kurozumi 
Kyokwai, etc., but they are not of sufficient im- 
portance to command notice here. 

Any statement of the religions of contemporary 
Japan would be incomplete without notice of 
Christianity, but that will be reserved for another 
portion of this book. 

The three great religions, Shinto, Buddhism, 
and Confucianism, are completely woven into 
the warp and woof of Japanese society.* As 
Christianity has shaped the political, social, and 
family life of the West, so these ancient faiths 
have that of the East. The laws, the morality, 
the manners and customs of these peoples all 
have been determined by their religions. And 
to-day the masses of the people look to them for 
principles to guide their present life, and for their 
future spiritual welfare, with just as much confi- 
dence and trust as my readers look to Christianity. 
The missionary, in his work, must encounter and 



RELIGIONS OF JAPAN 143 

vanquish all of these religions, which is no light 
task. They all have elements of superstition, and 
their origin and supernatural teachings will not 
bear the search-light of the growing spirit of 
criticism and investigation. Each one of them is 
even now modifying 1 gradually its doctrines in 
some features, so as to bring them into harmony 
with true learning and science ; and as the nation 
progresses intellectually the hold of these ancient 
faiths upon the common mind will become more 
and more precarious. We expect to see them 
gradually retreating, though stubbornly resisting 
every inch of ground, until they shall finally leave 
the field to their younger and more vigorous an- 
tagonists, Christianity and civilization. 



VIII 

FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 

ONE of the most interesting chapters of Japa- 
nese history is that relating to the introduction 
and growth of Catholic Christianity in the six- 
teenth century. This story has been eloquently 
told in nearly all European languages, and is 
familiar to the reading public. The terrible per- 
secutions then enacted are vividly represented in 
paintings and other works of art on exhibition in 
art galleries of Europe and America. This chapter 
is not written with the hope of saying anything 
new upon the subject, but because a story of 
mission work in Japan would be incomplete with- 
out it ; and it may be that some for the first time 
will here read this story. 

In order rightly to appreciate the introduction 

and spread of Christianity in Japan, it is necessary 

that we take a bird's-eye view of the internal 

condition of the country about the middle of the 

144 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 14=5 

sixteenth century. The Japanese were not then, 
as now, a homogeneous people with a strong 
central government. The emperor, although the 
nominal ruler, was in reality the creature of the 
shogun, who was the real ruler. His title to the 
shogunate was frequently disputed, however, and 
rival claimants waged fierce war upon him. The 
whole of Japan was divided into warring factions 
that were hardly ever at peace with one another. 
The feudal lords of the various provinces were 
only bound to the central government by the 
weakest ties, and were continually in a state of 
rebellion. Many of these daimios were great 
and powerful, able to wage war with the shogun 
himself. Jealousy and rivalry between the prov- 
inces kept up constant quarrels and divisions. 
Bad government, internal wars, the disputes and 
quarrels of different clans, and the ambitions and 
jealousies of their rulers had destroyed the re- 
sources of the country and had devastated her 
rich and beautiful cities. Even the fine old 
capital of Kyoto is represented as at that time 
in a state of dilapidation and ruin, its streets 
filled with unburied corpses- and all kinds of debris 
and filth. Kamakura, the seat of the shogun's 
government, once boasting 1,000,000 inhabitants, 
was in ashes. 

In those dark times there was little in the prev- 
alent religions to cheer and uplift discouraged 



146 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

men. Shinto was so completely overshadowed 
by Buddhism that it was little more than a myth. 
Buddhism had become a political system, and 
paid little attention to purely religious matters. 
The priests had degenerated into an army of 
mercenaries, living in luxury and dissoluteness. 
The common people were in a continual state of 
excitement and ferment. 

Into this disordered, chaotic society Catholic 
Christianity was first introduced. The conditions 
were favorable to its reception. 

St. Francis Xavier, one of the most devoted, 
earnest, and successful missionaries ever sent out 
by the Roman Church, has the honor of having 
been the first missionary to Japan. He was led 
to go there in the following manner: A refugee 
from Japan, named Anjiro, had wandered to 
Malacca, and there he met Xavier, who was at 
that time engaged in preaching the gospel in 
India and the Sunda Islands. Through Xavier's 
influence Anjiro was converted to Christianity. 
The stories which he told of his own people fired 
the great evangelist with the desire to preach the 
gospel to the Japanese. A few years prior to 
this some Portuguese traders had made their way 
to Japan, had been warmly received, and had 
begun a lucrative trade. Some of the daimios 
expressed to them a desire to have the Christian 
religion taught to their people; and Xavier no 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 147 

sooner heard of this than he set out for Japan, 
accompanied by the native convert Anjiro. 

They landed at Kagoshima, a large city on the 
coast of the southern island of Kyushu, August 
I S> I 549- The prince of Satsuma gave Xavier a 
hearty welcome, but afterward became jealous 
because one of the rival clans had been furnished 
with firearms by the Portuguese merchants, so 
that Xavier was compelled to remove to Hirado. 
From there he went to Nagato, thence to Bungo, 
where he again met a warm reception. Although 
so great a missionary, and having labored in 
so many countries, Xavier is said never to have 
mastered completely a single foreign tongue. He 
studied the rudiments of Japanese, but, finding 
that way much too slow, began preaching through 
an interpreter, with marked success and power. 
Anjiro had translated the Gospel of Matthew, 
writing it in Roman letters, and Xavier is said to 
have read this to the people with wonderful 
effect. He stayed only two and a half years in 
Japan ; yet in that short time he organized several 
congregations in the neighborhood of Yamaguchi 
and Hirado, and visited and preached in the old 
capital Kyoto. He then left the work in the 
hands of other missionaries, while he undertook 
the spiritual conquest of China. This ancient 
empire, with her hard, conservative civilization, 
impervious to foreign influence, lay like a. burdea 



148 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

on his heart. Contemplating her learning, her 
pride, and her exclusiveness, he uttered the de- 
spairing cry, " mountain, mountain, when wilt 
thou open to my Lord?" He died December 
2, IS 51, on an island in the Canton River. 

The inspiring example of Xavier attracted 
scores of missionaries to Japan, and also incited 
the native converts to constitute themselves mis- 
sionaries to their kinsmen and friends ; and their 
labors bore much fruit In a very short time, in 
the region of Kyoto alone, there were seven 
strong churches; and the island of Amakusa, the 
greater part of the Goto Islands, and the daiml- 
ates of Oinura and Yamaguchi had become Chris- 
tian. In 1581 the churches had grown to two 
hundred, and the number of Christians to 150,000. 
The converts were drawn from all classes of the 
people ; Buddhist priests, scholars, and noblemen 
embraced the new faith with as much readiness 
as did the lower classes. Two daimios had ac- 
cepted it, and were doing all in their power to 
aid the missionaries in their provinces. At this 
period the missionaries and Christians found a 
powerful supporter in Nobunaga, the minister of 
the mikado. This man openly welcomed the 
foreign priests, and gave them suitable grounds 
on which to build their churches, schools, and 
dwellings ; and under his patronage the new re- 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 149 

ligion grew apace. Catholic Christianity took its 
deepest root in the southern provinces, flourishing 
especially in Bungo, Omura, and Arima; but 
there were churches as far north as Yedo, and 
evangelists had carried the tidings of Christ and 
the "Mother of God" even to the northern 
boundaries of the empire. This was the high tide 
of Japanese Catholicism. 

The native Christians were so earnest and loyal 
to the church that, in 1583, they sent an embassy 
of four young noblemen to Rome to pay their 
respects to the pope and to declare themselves 
his spiritual vassals. They were suspected by 
some of their countrymen of desiring to become 
his vassals in another sense as well. This embassy 
was received with the greatest honors by the 
pope, as well as by the European princes, and 
was sent away heavily laden with presents. After 
an absence of eight years it returned to Nagasaki, 
accompanied by seventeen more Jesuit fathers. 
Up to this time all of the priests laboring in 
Japan were members of this order. From time 
to time other embassies were despatched from 
Japan to Rome, one of which was sent many 
years after the persecutions had begun. Catholic 
histories put the number of native Christians at 
this time at about 600,000, but native authorities 
put it much higher. 



150 THE GIST OF JAPAN 



Persecutions 

Such was the happy state of Christianity in 
this empire as the sixteenth century was drawing 
to a close. But, thick and fast, clouds were 
gathering over the horizon, and suddenly and 
furiously the storm broke. The loss of their pro- 
tector, Nobunaga, was the beginning of the mis- 
fortunes of the Christians. This great man was 
slain by an assassin, Akechi by name, who at- 
tempted to take the reins of government into his 
own hands. Hideyoshi, one of the greatest men 
Japan ever produced, now came upon the stage. 
He was the loyal general of the mikado, and, by 
the help of the Christian general Takayama, he 
overthrew the usurper Akechi, and became the 
molder of the destinies of the empire. He was 
the unifier of Japan. 

Hideyoshi was at first tolerant of Christianity ; 
but his suspicions were by and by aroused, and 
he became a cruel and relentless persecutor. 
According to Dr. Griffis, his umbrage arose partly 
because a Portuguese captain would not please 
him by risking his ship in coming out of deep 
water and nearer land, and partly because some 
Christian maidens of Arima scorned his degrading 
proposals. The quarrels of the Christians them- 
selves also helped to bring on the persecutions. 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 151 

Franciscan and Dominican missionaries front 
Spain had recently landed in Japan, and they 
were continually at strife with the Portuguese 
Jesuits. The jealousy and indiscretion of these 
unfriendly religious orders, and the slanders cir- 
culated by the Buddhists, stirred up the popular 
fury, and a persecution of fire and blood broke 
out Hideyoshi issued an edict commanding the 
Jesuits to leave the country in twenty days ; but 
this edict was winked at, and the persecutions 
were carried on only locally and spasmodically. 
The converts increased faster during these perse- 
cutions than before, about 10,000 being added 
each year. 

In open violation of the edict, four Franciscan 
priests came to Kyoto in 1593 with a Spanish 
envoy. They were allowed to build houses and 
reside there on the express condition that they 
were not to preach or teach, either publicly or 
privately. Immediately violating their pledge, 
they began preaching openly in the streets, wear- 
ing the vestments of their order. They excited 
a great deal of discord among the Jesuit congre- 
gations and used most violent language. Hide- 
yoshi was angered at this, as he had good reason 
to be, and caused nine preachers to be seized 
while they were building chapels in Osaka and 
Kyoto, and condemned to death. These, together 
with three Portuguese Jesuits, six Spanish Fran- 



152 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

ciscans, and seventeen native Christians, were 
crucified on bamboo crosses in Nagasaki, Febru- 
ary 5> 1597- They were put to death, not as 
Christians, but as law-breakers and political con- 
spirators. 

Hideyoshi was further confirmed in his opinion 
that these foreign priests had political designs by 
the remark of a Spanish sea-captain who showed 
him a map of the world, on which the vast domin- 
ions of the King of Spain were clearly marked, 
and who, in reply to the question as to how his 
master came by such wide territories, foolishly 
replied that he first sent priests to win over the 
people, then soldiers to cooperate with the native 
converts, and the conquest was easy. Hideyoshi's 
fears were not entirely ungrounded, The truth 
is that Catholic Christianity has always been, and 
was especially at that time, so intimately con- 
nected with the state that her emissaries could 
not keep from entangling themselves in politics. 

Hideyoshi died in 1597, and with the death of 
their persecutor the missionaries again took heart 
and began their work anew. The political suc- 
cessor of Hideyoshi was lyeyasu a man even 
greater, perhaps, than his predecessor. He was 
not permitted to assume direction of affairs with- 
out a fierce and bloody struggle. Around the 
capital 200,000 soldiers were gathered under 
ambitious rival leaders. Soon the camps were 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 163 

divided into two factions, the northern soldiers 
under lyeyasu, and the southern soldiers under 
their own daimios. Most of the Christians were 
naturally allied with the latter party. Believing 
lyeyasu to be a usurper, the Christian generals 
arrayed themselves against him and went forth 
to meet him in the open field. On the field of 
Sekigahara a bloody battle was fought, and 
1 0,000 men lost their lives. The Christians were 
beaten, and were dealt with after the custom of 
the time their heads were stricken off. lyeyasu, 
finding himself in undisputed possession of the 
reins of government, began at once the comple- 
tion of the work of Hideyoshi, i.e., the creation 
of a strong central government and the subju- 
gation of the several daimios. Henceforth the 
Christians had to deal with this central govern- 
ment instead of the petty local ones. 

Systematic persecutions were now begun in the 
different provinces, culminating in the year 1606, 
when lyeyasu issued his famous edict prohibiting 
Christianity. At this time there were more than 
1,000,000 Christians in Japan. An outward show 
of obedience warded off active persecution for 
a few years, when the Franciscan friars again 
aroused the wrath of the government by openly 
violating the laws and exhorting their converts 
to do likewise. In 1611 lyeyasu is reported to 
have discovered documentary evidence of the 



154 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

existence of a plot on the part of the native 
Christians and the foreign emissaries to overthrow 
the government and reduce Japan to the position 
of a subject state. Taking advantage of the op- 
portunity thus afforded, he determined to utterly 
extirpate Christianity from his dominions. Jan- 
uary 27, 1614, he issued the famous edict in 
which he branded the Jesuit missionaries as triple 
enemies as enemies of the gods, of Japan, and 
of the buddhas. Desiring to avoid so much 
bloodshed, if possible, he tried the plan of trans- 
portation. Three hundred persons Franciscans, 
Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians, and natives 
were shipped from Nagasaki to Macao. But 
many priests concealed themselves and were 
overlooked. The native Christians refused to 
renounce their faith. It was evident that the 
end was not yet. The Christians were sympa- 
thizers with Hideyori, who had been a rival 
claimant with lyeyasu for the shogunate, and 
whose castle In Osaka was the greatest strong- 
hold in the empire. In this castle Hideyori gave 
shelter to some Christians, and lyeyasu called 
out a great army and laid siege to it. The war 
which followed was very brief, but, if the report 
of the Jesuits is to be relied upon, 100,000 men 
perished. The castle finally fell, and with it 
the cause of the Christians. Hidetada, the next 
shogun, now pronounced sentence of death upon 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 155 

every foreigner, whether priest or catechist, found 
in the country. All native converts who refused 
to renounce their faith were likewise sentenced to 
death. The story of the persecutions that fol- 
lowed is too horrible to be described. Fire and 
sword were freely used to extirpate Christianity. 
Converts were wrapped in straw sacks, piled in 
heaps of living fuel, and then set on fire. Many 
were burned with fires made from the crosses 
before which they were accustomed to bow. 
Some were buried alive. All the tortures that 
barbaric cruelty could invent were freely used to 
rid the land of them. The calmness and fortitude 
with which they bore their lot, gladly dying for 
their faith, command our warmest admiration. 
The power of our religion to uphold and sustain 
even in the midst of torture was never more 
strikingly illustrated, and the ancient Roman 
world produced no more willing martyrs than did 
Japan at this time. 

At last even the patient, uncomplaining Japa- 
nese Christians could stand it no longer. Perse- 
cuted until desperate, those who remained finally 
arose in rebellion, seized and fortified the old 
castle of Shimabara, and resolved to die rather 
than submit. The rebelling party probably 
numbered about 30,000, and there was not one 
foreigner among them. A veteran army, led by 
skilled commanders, was sent against the rebels, 



156 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

and after a stubborn resistance of four months 
the castle was taken. Men, women, and children 
all were slaughtered. There is an old story to 
the effect that many of them were thrown from 
the rock of Pappenburg into the sea ; but it lacks 
confirmation and doubtless is only a myth. It 
has also been charged against the Protestant 
Hollanders then resident in Nagasaki that they 
assisted in the overthrow of the Shimabara castle 
and the destruction of the Catholics with their 
heavy -guns, but this probably is untrue. 

There was now left no power to resist, and 
the sword, fire, and banishment swept away every 
trace of Christianity. The extermination ap- 
peared so complete that non- Christian writers 
have pointed to Japan as a land in which Chris- 
tianity had been entirely conquered by the sword, 
thus proving that it could be extirpated. But 
the extirpation was not so thorough as at first 
appeared. Christian converts remained, and as- 
sembled regularly for worship; but the utmost 
secrecy was observed, for fear of the authorities. 
When the country was reopened in 1859, the 
Catholic fathers found remaining in and around 
Nagasaki whole villages of Christians, holding 
their faith in secret, it is true, but still holding it. 
During the two hundred years in which they had 
been left alone the faith had become corrupt, but 
there were still thousands of people who, amid 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 15? 

much ignorance, worshiped the true God and 
refused to bow at pagan shrines. Christianity 
was not entirely crushed, neither can be, by the 
secular arm. 

After the government had, as it fondly sup- 
posed, entirely suppressed the hated foreign reli- 
gion, in order to prevent its return it determined 
upon the most rigid system of exclusiveness 
ever practised by any nation. The means of 
communication with the outer world were all 
cut off; all ships above a certain size were de- 
stroyed, and the building of others large enough 
to visit foreign lands rigidly prohibited ; Japanese 
were forbidden to travel abroad on pain of death ; 
native shipwrecked sailors who had been driven 
to other lands were not permitted to return to 
their own country, lest they should carry the 
dreaded religion back with them ; and all for- 
eigners found on Japanese territory were exe- 
cuted. Over all the empire the most rigid 
prohibitions -of Christianity were posted. The 
high-sounding text of one of them was as follows : 
" So long as the sun shall continue tp warm the 
earth, let no Christian be so bold as to come to 
Japan ; and let all know that the King of Spain 
himself, or the Christians' god, or the great God 
of all, if He dare violate this command, shall pay 
for it with His head.'* These prohibitions could 
still be seen along the highways as late as 1872. 



158 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

During this period of exclusion the only means 
of communication with the outside world was 
through the Dutch, a small colony of whom were 
permitted to reside in Nagasaki as a sort of safety- 
valve and a means of communication with the 
outside world when such communication became 
absolutely necessary. They enjoyed the confi- 
dence of Japan more than any other nation. 
These Hollanders were compelled to live on the 
narrow little island of Desima, in Nagasaki harbor, 
always under strict surveillance. Ships from 
Holland were permitted to visit them occasionally, 
and they carried on a very lucrative trade be- 
tween the two countries. 

The mistake of Catholic Christianity in Japan 
during the century the history of which we have 
been reciting was its meddling in politics and 
getting itself entangled in the internal affairs of 
the country. If it had avoided politics and been 
at peace and harmony with itself, it might have 
enjoyed continued prosperity, and Japan to-day 
might have been one of the brightest stars in the 
pope's crown. 

While this was, as we firmly believe, a very 
corrupt form of Christianity, we must remember 
that it was immeasurably better than any religion 
Japan had yet known. Although it taught 
Mariolatry, salvation in part by works, penance, 
and many other errors, it also taught that there 



FIRST INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY 159 

is but one God, and that His Son died for men, 
It very much improved the morals of its adher- 
ents, and purified and exalted their lives. 

At the present day very little remains of this 
century of Christianity besides the few scattered 
and corrupt congregations found by the Jesuits 
on their return, the introduction of firearms and 
a few rude tools, and the infusion of a handful of 
foreign words into the language. The most im- 
portant effect of this period is an inborn and in- 
veterate prejudice against and mistrust of Chris- 
tianity on the part of the people, which to-day 
hinders much our work of evangelization. 



IX 

MODERN ROMAN AND GREEK MISSIONS 
Roman Church 

THE Roman Church was not discouraged by 
the fierce persecutions she was called upon to 
endure during the seventeenth century. Nothing 
daunted, she continued to send missionaries at 
intervals during the eighteenth century ; but they 
were thrown into prison or executed as soon as 
they landed. In order to be in readiness for the 
opening of the country, which could not be much 
longer delayed, the pope, in 1846, nominated a 
bishop and several missionaries to Japan. These 
men took up their station in the neighboring 
Liukiu Islands and patiently awaited their op- 
portunity. As soon as the treaties with foreign 
nations were made, and the country was opened, 
they at once entered Japan, and resumed the work 
so rudely interrupted two hundred years before, 
160 



MODERN ROMAN AND GREEK MISSIONS 161 

A few years later these priests had the joy of 
discovering in the neighborhood of Nagasaki sev- 
eral Christian communities that had survived the 
bloody persecutions and had perpetuated their 
faith for more than two centuries, in spite of the 
vigilance of the authorities and the rigid prohibi- 
tions of Christianity, Left for so long without 
direction and guidance, bound for the sake of 
their lives to strictest secrecy, and, above all, not 
having the Bible to enlighten them, the faith of 
these communities had become very corrupt But 
they still retained a certain knowledge of God, of 
Jesus Christ, and of the Virgin Mary. The rite 
of baptism and some prayers also survived. 

Of the existence of these Christian commu- 
nities, and the perpetuation of their faith in se- 
crecy for more than two hundred years, there is 
not the slightest room for doubt. The persecut- 
ing spirit, which had also survived, found large 
numbers of them in 1867, and more than 4000 
who refused to renounce their faith were banished. 
After six years of exile they were permitted to 
return to their homes. 

The mistake of the Romanists here, as else- 
where, was in not translating the Bible into the 
vernacular. Xavier and his successors did not 
give the Word of God to the churches, and hence 
when the priests all were banished the people 
were left without any light to guide them. Had 



162 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

they possessed a Japanese Bible, the reopening 
of the country would have shown us, instead of 
a few corrupt Christian communities, a vigorous, 
aggressive native church, only made stronger by 
persecution. Such was the case in Madagascar, 
and such probably it would have been in Japan 
had the people been given the Word of God. 

The relative importance of the Bible to the 
Romanist and the Protestant is well shown in 
this matter of Bible translation. One of the first 
efforts of the Protestant Churches in Japan was a 
translation of the Bible, and an excellent version 
was prepared and published more than ten years 
ago. The Roman Church, with more than a 
century of unprecedented prosperity in former 
times, and with the same advantages enjoyed by 
the Protestants in recent years, has not yet pub- 
lished its Bible in Japanese. Some priests and 
native scholars are now engaged on a translation 
of the Vulgate, which will doubtless be published 
soon. 

Ever since the opening of the country the 
Church of Rome has been very earnest and zeal- 
ous in her efforts to evangelize this land. She 
has used a great many men, who have labored 
hard and faithfully, and has expended large sums 
of money. Her success has not been great, be- 
cause she has had to contend against fearful odds. 
The hindrances that have made the progress of 



MODERN ROMAN AND GREEK MISSIONS 163 

Protestant missions in this land very slow have 
had to be overcome also by Catholicism, besides 
some other strong militating influences. I will 
mention two of the most important of these hin- 
drances peculiar to Catholicism. 

1. The genius of the Catholic Church is not 
adapted to Japan. The priority of the spiritual 
over the temporal ruler, the exaltation of church 
over state, the allegiance required to a foreign 
pope, the unqualified obedience to foreign ecclesi- 
astical authority, and numerous other things, come 
into conflict with the strong national feeling now 
animating the Japanese, and seem to them to con- 
flict with the great duty of loyalty. The celibacy 
of the clergy and the rite of extreme unction are 
also very unpopular. Both Catholicism and Prot- 
estantism are regarded as evils, but the former is, 
on account of its nature and organization, consid- 
ered the greater. 

2. The past history of Catholicism in Japan 
also militates very much against its progress. 
The people recognize it as the specific form of 
Christianity that the government, in former times, 
felt bound, for the sake of its own safety, to per- 
secute to the death. They cannot forget that, 
although under great provocation, it dared bare 
its arm against the imperial Japanese government 
and inaugurate a bitter rebellion. In their work 
to-day the priests encounter all of these objec- 



164 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

tions, and must satisfactorily explain them away 
a difficult task. 

But, notwithstanding, the Roman Church has en- 
joyed an equal degree of prosperity with the Prot- 
estant Churches since the opening of Japan in 1858. 
The statistics for the year 1895 show 50,302 ad- 
herents about 10,000 more than the Protestants. 
But the manner of compiling statistics differs so 
much that these figures do not fairly represent 
the numerical strength of the two bodies. The 
Catholics not only count all baptized children, 
but all nominal adherents; while Protestants 
count no nominal adherents, and many of the 
denominations do not even count baptized chil- 
dren. If the same method of compiling statistics 
were used by both bodies, their numerical strength 
would probably appear to be about equal. 

These 50,302 adherents are comprised in two 
hundred and fifty congregations. There are one 
hundred and sixty-nine churches and chapels; 
one theological seminary, with 46 pupils; two 
colleges, with 181 pupils; three boarding-schools 
for girls, with 171 pupils; twenty-six industrial 
schools, with 764 pupils; and forty-one primary 
schools, with 2924 pupils. 

The Catholic Church throughout the East is 
noted for its splendid charities. It is doing more 
to care for the helpless, aged, and infirm than all 
the Protestant bodies combined. It supports in 



MODERN ROMAN AND GREEK MISSIONS 165 

Japan one hospital for lepers that is exceedingly 
popular with that unfortunate class. The govern- 
ment has one good leper hospital, but it is said 
that the lepers much prefer going to the Catholic 
hospital, because there they are treated so much 
more kindly and considerately. There are 70 
lepers in this Catholic hospital. The Catholic 
Church has also one hospital for the aged, with 
3 1 inmates ; and nineteen orphanages, with 2080 
children in them. This large number of charitable 
institutions supported by the Roman Church 
makes a strong appeal to the Japanese public 
and does much toward overcoming the prejudice 
against her. 

The active working force of the Catholic mis- 
sion, besides the lay members of the native church, 
consists of i archbishop, 3 bishops, 88 European 
missionaries, 20 native priests, 304 native cate- 
chists, 25 European friars, 85 European sisters, 
and 42 novices. The archbishop and bishops 
reside respectively in Nagasaki, Osaka, Tokyo, 
and Hakodate. 

Greek Church 

The Greek Church has had a flourishing mis- 
sion in Japan ever since 1871. It is always 
spoken of here as the " Greek Church " or the 
" Greek Catholic Church/' although it would 
more properly be called the " Russian Church/' 



166 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

as it was founded and is supported by the na- 
tional church of Russia. 

This mission is largely the result of the pro- 
digious labors of one man Bishop Nicolai Kasat- 
kia He first came to Japan in 1861 as chaplain 
to the Russian consulate at Hakodate, but it was 
his desire and intention from the beginning to do 
mission work. For some years he was so ab- 
sorbed in the study of the language that he made 
no attempt whatever to preach or teach. After 
he had been in Hakodate several years a Bud- 
dhist priest who came to revile him was converted 
through his influence. This man was the first 
convert to the Greek Church in Japan, and was 
baptized in 1866. Three years afterward the 
second convert, a physician, was baptized. 

The zeal of these converts, and Nicolai's own 
conscience, now incited him to throw his whole 
life and influence into the cause of a mission in 
Japan. He was led deeply to regret that he had 
not done more to make Christ known to the 
Japanese, instead of giving all his time and at- 
tention to scholarship and letters. In 1869 he 
returned to Russia and began to agitate the 
founding of a mission in Japan. The Holy Synod 
gave the desired permission the next year, and 
appointed Nicolai its first missionary. In 1871 
Nicolai returned to Japan and made his head- 
quarters in the capital city, Tokyo. From this 



MODERN ROMAN AND GREEK MISSIONS 167 

time his active missionary work began, and in it 
he has shown himself a master. Whether in the 
work of preaching, translating, financiering, build- 
ing, or what not, he has been director and chief 
laborer. In 1872 a new priest, Anatoli by name, 
came out from Russia and ably assisted Nicolai 
for eighteen years, at the end of which time de- 
clining health forced him to return. 

Nicolai again returned to Russia in 1879, and 
was consecrated bishop of the Greek Church in 
Japan. At this time he began a work which had 
long been on his heart, viz., the collection of funds 
for the erection of a fine cathedral in Tokyo. 
This cathedral was begun in 1884 and completed 
in 1891. It is a magnificent building, by far the 
finest ecclesiastical structure in Japan. It stands 
on an eminence from which it seems to dominate 
the whole city. The cost of this cathedral was 
$177,575, silver. 

Here one may hear the finest choral music in 
the empire. Those who believe it to be impos- 
sible to train well Japanese voices have but to 
attend a service at this cathedral to have their 
ideas changed. A choir of several hundred voices 
has been trained to sing in perfect harmony, and 
the music is inspiring. Travelers who have heard 
the music of the most famous cathedrals and 
churches of Europe and America say that this 
will compare favorably with the best. The de- 



168 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

velopment of music in the Greek Church of Japan 
has been marvelous. 

The work of this church, while scattered over 
the whole empire, is chiefly carried on in the cities 
and larger towns. Like the Roman Church, it 
refuses fellowship with the various Protestant 
bodies. Some men of note belong to it, and it is 
to-day recognized as one of the influential re- 
ligious bodies. 

A notable feature of its work is that it has 
employed comparatively few foreign missionaries. 
The burden of the work has been done by Bishop 
Nicolai and an able body of trained native assis- 
tants. At present there are only two foreigners 
in connection with it, and there have never been 
at any time more than three or four. While 
foreign priests have been little used, several of 
its native priests have been educated abroad. 

This church has 21 native priests and 158 un- 
ordained catechists. It is now conducting work 
in two hundred and nineteen stations and out- 
stations. It has one boarding-school for boys, 
with 47 pupils; one for girls, with 76 pupils; 
and one theological school, with 18 pupils. The 
membership at the close of the year 1895 was 
22,576, and the amount contributed for all pur- 
poses during that year was $4754.95. 



X 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF PROTESTANT MISSIONS 
IN JAPAN 

DURING Japan's period of seclusion, when no 
foreigner dared enter the country upon pain of 
death, many godly people were praying that 
God would open the doors, and some mission 
boards were watching and waiting for an oppor- 
tunity to send the gospel to the Japanese. When, 
in the year 1854, treaties were made with West- 
ern powers, and it became known that Japan was 
to be reopened to foreign intercourse, great in- 
terest was at once manifested by the friends of 
missions in the evangelization of this land. 

This same year the Board of Foreign Missions 
of the Presbyterian Church in the United States 
of America requested one of its missionaries in 
China to visit Japan and examine into the condi- 
tion of affairs there, with the purpose of estab- 
lishing a mission. At this time permanent resi- 
169 



170 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

dence of foreigners was not secured, and it was 
doubtless for this reason that no progress was 
made toward the establishment of a mission. 

The country was not actually opened to foreign 
residence until the year 1859, and by the close 
of that year three Protestant missionary socie- 
ties, quick to take advantage of the opportunity 
offered, had their representatives in the field. 
The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United 
States has the honor of sending the first Protes- 
tant missionaries to Japan. It transferred two of 
its missionaries from China, the Rev. C. M. Wil- 
liams and the Rev. J. Liggins. Previous to this 
time a few missionaries had made transient visits 
from China to Kanagawa and Nagasaki, and 
found opportunity to teach elementary English ; 
but this work accomplished little. 

According to the treaty with England, the 
four treaty ports of Japan were opened July i, 
1859; according to that with America, July 4th. 
Mr. Liggins arrived in Nagasaki May 2d, two 
months before the actual opening of the port; he 
was joined by Mr. Williams one month later, 

Oa October iSth of the same year the first mis- 
sionaries of the Presbyterian Church in the United 
States of America, Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Hepburn, 
arrived at Kanagawa. A fortnight later the Rev. 
3. R. Brown and D. B. Simmons, M.D., of the 
Reformed Church in America, reached Nagasaki. 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 171 

The Rev. Dr. G. F. Verbeck, also of the Reformed 
Church, reached Nagasaki one month later. Thus 
it will be seen that missionaries were sent here 
as soon as the country was opened to foreign 
residence, the Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and 
Reformed churches of America beginning the 
work almost simultaneously. 

The example set by these boards was soon 
followed by others. The American Baptists 
began the work in 1860, the American Board 
(Congregationalist) in 1869, and the American 
Methodists in 1873. From time to time other 
boards also sent representatives. 

Although the country was now open to foreign 
residence, it was by no means open to the propa- 
gation of the foreign religion. All that the mis- 
sionaries could do was to study the language and 
teach English. In this early period many of 
them found employment in the schools of the 
various daimios and in those of the national 
government. 

The first years were very trying ones. The mis- 
sionaries were in imminent danger of their lives ; 
attacks without either provocation or warning 
were very common. Foreigners, and especially 
those who wanted to teach the foreign religion, 
were everywhere bitterly hated. The lordly 
samurai walked about with two sharp swords 
stuck into his belt, and his very look was threat- 



172 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

ening. At their houses and when they walked 
abroad foreigners had special guards provided 
them by the government 

Great difficulty was at first experienced by the 
missionaries in employing teachers, because of 
the suspicion in which foreigners were held. 
Those who finally agreed to teach were afterward 
found to be government spies. 

The government was still confessedly hostile to 
Christianity as late as 1 869. Shortly before this 
time some Roman Catholic Christians who had 
been found around Nagasaki were torn from 
their homes and sent away into exile. The sale 
of Christian books was rigidly prohibited. The 
prohibitions against Christianity were still posted 
over all the empire, and were rigidly enforced. 
If a conversation on religious subjects was be- 
gun with a Japanese his hand would involuntarily 
grasp his throat, indicating the extreme perilous- 
ness of such a topic. 

The following story shows what native Chris- 
tians had to endure in some parts of Japan as 
late as 1871. " Mr. O. H. Gulick, while at Kobe, 
had a teacher, formerly Dr. Greene's teacher, 
called Ichikawa Yeinosuke. In the spring of the 
year named this man and his wife were arrested 
at dead of night and thrown into prison. He 
had for some time been an earnest student of the 
Bible, and had expressed the desire to receive 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 173 

baptism, but had not been baptized. His wife 
was not then regarded as a Christian. Every 
effort was made to secure his release ; but neither 
the private requests of the missionaries, nor the 
kindly offices of the American consul, nor even 
those of the American minister, availed anything. 
Even his place of confinement was not known at 
the time. It was at length learned that he had 
been confined in Kyoto, and had died there 
November 25, 1872. His wife was shortly after- 
ward released. She is now a member of the 
Shinsakurada church in Tokyo." 

At this early period no distinction was made 
between Catholic and Protestant Christianity, 
and both were alike hated. There was no op- 
portunity to do direct Christian work, and many 
of the supporters of missions at home were be- 
ginning to doubt the expediency of keeping mis- 
sionaries where they were not permitted to work. 
Some boards even contemplated recalling their 
men. But the missionaries were permitted to 
remain and await their opportunity, which soon 
came. With the gradual opening of the country, 
and especially with the dissemination of a know- 
ledge of foreign nations and their faith, the oppor- 
tunities for work more and more increased and 
the old prohibitions were less and less enforced. 

During the period of forced inactivity the mis- 
sionaries were busily engaged in a study of the 



174 THB CIST OP JAPAN 

language and in the writing of various useful 
books and tracts. At first Chinese Bibles and 
other Christian books were extensively used, the 
educated classes reading Chinese with facility. 
The first religious tract published in Japanese ap- 
peared in 1867. One of the most important of 
the literary productions of the missionary body, 
Dr. J. C Hepburn's Japanese-English and Eng- 
lish-Japanese Dictionary, appeared in this same 
year. It was a scholarly work, the result of 
many years of hard, persevering labor. The 
first edition was speedily exhausted, and a sec- 
ond was issued in 1872. The translation of the 
Holy Scriptures was also begun and gotten well 
under way in this period. Several separate por- 
tions of the Scriptures from time to time appeared. 
The first was the Gospel of Matthew, translated 
by the Rev. J. Goble, of the Baptist mission, and 
published in 1871. Dr. S. R. Brown had previ- 
ously prepared first drafts of some portions of the 
New Testament, but unfortunately they were 
destroyed by fire. Translations of Mark and 
John, by Drs. Brown and Hepburn, were pub- 
lished in 1872. 

T&is irregular, piecemeal method of translation 
was not satisfactory ; so in order to expedite the 
work, and to elicit an active interest in it oa the 
part of all the missionaries in the country,, a con- 
vention on Bible translation was called to meet 



PttOTESTAtiT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 

in Yokohama on September 20, 1872. As a 
result of this convention the Translation Com- 
mittee was organized. At first it consisted of 
Drs. Brown, Hepburn, and Greene. Other 
names were afterward added. This committee 
was ably assisted in its work by prominent Japa- 
nese Christian scholars. The great undertaking 
was brought to a successful conclusion in 1880, 
when an edition of the whole Bible was published 
in excellent Japanese. 

We have anticipated matters somewhat. Let 
us now go back a few years and take up the 
thread where we left off. The work of the mis- 
sionaries for a long time was fruitless, but the 
day of reaping was near. The first Protestant 
convert of Japan was baptized in Yokohama by 
the Rev. Mr. Ballagh, in 1 864. Two years later 
Dr. Verbeck baptized two prominent men in 
southern Japan. In 1866 Bishop Williams, of 
the Episcopal Church, baptized one convert 
Who can tell the joy of these missionaries when, 
after so many years of hard work, they were per- 
mitted to see these precious fruits ? From time 
to time others were baptized, but for many years 
accessions were rare. The first church was or- 
ganized in Yokohama in 1872. It was left to 
draft its own constitution and church government, 
and was a very liberal body. 

During all this time the prohibitions of Chris- 



176 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

tianity were still posted over all the land, and the 
government had never officially renounced its 
policy of persecution. But the infringement of 
the laws was permitted, and gradually they be- 
came a dead letter. Many Japanese of influence 
and of official position traveled abroad, and learn- 
ing of the status of Christianity in the countries 
of the West, and particularly of the attitude of 
the chief nations of the world toward the perse- 
cution of Christians, exerted their influence to 
have these prohibitions rescinded. Especially 
did the strong stand taken by some Western 
governments influence Japan in favor of toleration. 
Our own Secretary of State in Washington 
plainly informed the Japanese committee then 
visiting there that the United States could not 
regard as a friendly power any nation that perse- 
cuted its Christian subjects. 

As a result of various influences, the edicts 
against Christianity were removed from the sign- 
boards in 1873. This was an event of the ut- 
most importance to Christian work, for, although 
the infringement of the edicts had been for some 
time winked at, their very existence before the 
eyes of the people had a great deterring effect. 
The government announced that this action did 
not signify that the prohibition of Christianity 
was now abrogated. It declared that the edicts 
were removed because their subject-matter, hav- 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 177 

ing been so long before the eyes of the people, 
" was sufficiently imprinted on their minds/* And 
yet their removal conveyed the idea to the peo- 
ple at large that liberty of conscience was hence- 
forth to be allowed, and this virtually proved to 
be so. Persecutions ceased and the work was 
allowed to go on untrammeled. The object for 
which the church abroad had waited and prayed, 
and for which the missionaries on the ground had 
longed and labored, was at last realized. Joy and 
hope filled the hearts of the workers. The cause 
of missions had received a new and powerful im- 
pulse, which ere long made itself felt in a wide 
enlargement of its operations. 

The work now went on much more rapidly. 
Soon a great pro-foreign sentiment sprang up. 
With the rapid adoption of Western civilization 
there grew up not only a toleration, but an 
actual desire for the Western religion. It be- 
came rather fashionable to confess Christ. Some 
statesmen even went so far as to advocate as a 
matter of policy the adoption of Christianity as 
the state religion. 

In this happy time Christian schools, which 
had sprung up like mushrooms over all the land, 
were filled with eager students ; the churches and 
chapels were crowded with interested listeners ; 
and large numbers were annually added to the 
church. 



178 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

But the pendulum had swung too far. About 
1888 a reaction set in, caused largely by the im- 
patience of the Japanese at the refusal of West- 
ern nations to revise the treaties on a basis of 
equality. A strong nationalism asserted itself. 
Everything foreign was brought into disrepute. 
Christianity was frowned upon as a foreign reli- 
gion, and the old native religions again came into 
favor. Attendance at Christian schools fell off 
almost fifty per cent, ; the churches and chapels 
became empty; and few names were added to 
the church rolls. A sifting process began which 
very much reduced the membership. When 
Christianity was popular many had hastily and 
as a matter of policy joined the churches, who in 
this time of disfavor fell away. This reactionary 
feeling has lasted uninterruptedly down to the 
present, and in recent years the losses numerically 
have almost equaled the gains. This reaction 
has in some respects worked good to the churches. 
The former growth was too rapid. Many un- 
converted men came into the bosom of the church. 
Such have fallen away; the church has been 
pruned of her old dead branches, and is now a 
livelier, healthier body. 

In the judgment of some, this reactionary pe- 
riod is now on the decline. The recent growth 
and progress of Japan have been recognized by the 
West ; treaty revision on a basis of equality has 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 179 

been granted her, and the cause which brought 
about the reaction has thus been largely removed. 
For these reasons we may look for a gradual 
breaking down of the prejudice and opposition 
toward foreign institutions and religion, though 
such a pro-foreign wave as swept the country 
during the eighties will not probably be experi- 
enced again. 

In order to give a correct idea of the work now 
being done by the various missions in Japan, It 
will be well to give a short sketch of each one 
separately. We will consider them in the order 
of their size and influence. 

American Board Mission 

This mission is conducted by the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions 
(organized on an undenominational basis, but 
now Congregational), and has met with great 
success. Begun in 1869, it is younger than 
either the Episcopalian, Reformed, Presbyterian, 
or Baptist missions, but has exerted a greater 
influence than any of them. It has for years en- 
joyed the distinction of having more adherents 
than any other Christian body at work here. 
But there has been a large falling off in its mem- 
bership, and during the past year or so very few 
new names have been added to its rolls. At the 



180 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

close of 1895 the Church of Christ in Japan 
(Presbyterian) was only about 62 members behind 
this body, and by the close of 1896 will in all 
probability be ahead. 

This mission was especially fortunate in reach- 
ing a wealthy, influential class of people, which 
has given it a position and prestige superior to 
the other missions. In the number of 'self-sup- 
porting native churches it has led all other de- 
nominations. 

The first missionaries of the American Board 
to Japan were Dr. and Mrs. Greene. They ar- 
rived in Yokohama November 30, 1869, and, 
with the usual intermissions for rest, have labored 
here continuously since that time. Three years 
later the Rev. O. H. Gulick and wife, and the 
Rev. J. D. Davis and wife, joined the mission. 
Since that time the number of missionaries has 
been rapidly increased until now it reaches 74. 
The membership of the native church is about 
11,162. There are 60 ordained native ministers 
and 54 unordained. There are four boarding- 
schools for girls, with 863 students. The most 
advanced of these is the Girls' School of Kobe, 
with a curriculum as high as that of most female 
colleges in America. There is also one school 
for the training of Bible- women. 

The chief educational institution of this body 
is the Doshisha University, in Kyoto, This 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 181 

school is largely the result of the labors of Dr. 
Neesima, easily the first Christian preacher and 
teacher Japan has yet produced. It is a large 
school, beautifully located and well housed. Last 
year only 320 students were in attendance, a 
great decline from former years. Unfortunately 
this institution does not now exert the positive 
influence for Christianity that it formerly did. 
Higher criticism and speculative philosophy have 
largely supplanted Christian teaching. The 
school is now entirely in the hands of the trustees 
(all natives), and the mission has no control over 
it whatever. Recently all of the missionaries of 
the American Board who were serving as profes- 
sors in the Doshisha have, because of dissatisfac- 
tion with the policy of the school authorities, 
resigned. The trustees affirm that it is their in- 
tention to keep the school strictly Christian, but 
they refuse to define the term " Christian/' Such 
vital matters as the divinity of Christ and the 
immortality of the soul are not positively affirmed. 
The rationalism which has emanated from this 
school has perhaps done as much in recent years 
to impede the progress of Christianity as any 
other one cause. It is very sad to see an insti- 
tution, built up at great expense by bequests of 
earnest Christian people, intended by its founder 
to lead the evangelical Christianity of this coun- 
try, thus turned aside from its original purpose. 



182 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

We trust that a gradual growth of a deeper 
Christian consciousness and a more positive faith 
in the hearts of the trustees and professors may 
yet lead them to make of this school a positive 
force for evangelical Christianity. 

The mission of the American Board has ex- 
perienced more trouble in recent years than any 
other, especially in the attempt properly to adjust 
the relations between the native and foreign 
workers, and in the matter of mission property. 
Most of the valuable property of the mission has 
passed into native hands, and in some instances 
has been perverted from its original purpose. The 
missionaries are regarded with jealousy by many 
in the native church ; they are entirely excluded 
from the church councils, and are being gradually 
pushed out of the most important positions, and 
their places filled with Japanese. It is a question 
just how far the policy adopted by this mission 
from the beginning is to blame for this unfortu- 
nate state of affairs. This policy has been to 
push the native workers to the front, to give 
them the important positions, and to allow them 
perfect freedom in all church matters. As a 
consequence, that which was at first granted as 
a concession is now demanded as a right. As a 
teacher in one of their own schools has comically 
put it, the mission said in the beginning in 
Japanese phraseology to the native brethren, 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 183 

" Please honorably condescend to take the first 
place," and they are just doing what they were 
bidden to do. Other boards, with a different 
policy, have fared better. The Episcopal Church 
of Japan, which is one of the most active, vigor- 
ous bodies at work here, is governed by foreign 
bishops, and nearly all the positions of importance 
are filled by foreign missionaries, and yet the 
relations between the native and foreign work- 
ers are, on the whole, cordial and harmonious. 
The Methodist Church is governed by foreign 
bishops, and nearly all the presiding elders are 
foreign missionaries, yet complete harmony pre- 
vails between the native and the foreign ministry. 
The Presbyterian Church, with a policy some- 
what resembling the Congregational, is encoun- 
tering the same difficulties in a milder form. 
These facts seem to indicate that, at least in part, 
the policy of the mission is itself responsible for 
the position in which it now finds itself. 

But in nearly every mission field, as soon as a 
strong native church is developed, misunderstand- 
ings and friction between the native and foreign 
workers have arisen. Questions regarding the 
position of the native church and its relation to 
the foreign boards and missionaries almost inevi- 
tably arise. Therefore what the American Board 
has encountered may be partially encountered 
by all as soon as a stronger native church is de- 



184 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

veloped. Perhaps the national characteristics of 
the people are to some extent responsible also 
for this trouble and friction. 



The Church of Christ in Japan 

This body represents an attempt at church 
union on a large scale. It is composed of all the 
Presbyterian and Reformed churches working in 
Japan. These are the Presbyterian Church in 
the United States of America, the Reformed 
Church in America, the United Presbyterian 
Church of Scotland, the Reformed Church in the 
United States, the Presbyterian Church in the 
United States (South), the Woman's Union Mis- 
sionary Society, and the Cumberland Presbyte- 
rian Church. All of these bodies are engaged in 
building up one and the same native church the 
Church of Christ in Japan. Yet each has its own 
field and is doing its own individual work. 

The growth and success of this body have been 
phenomenal. It has 1 1,100 members, 60 ordained 
native ministers, 113 unordained catechists, and 
146 missionaries. Its leading educational in- 
stitution is the Meiji Gakuin, in Tokyo, with 
both an academic and a theological department. 
This is a large, well- equipped school, with a good 
faculty. 

In connection with this Church of Christ there 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 185 

is a good academic and theological school in 
Nagasaki, known as Steele College, and supported 
by the Dutch Reformed and Southern Presby- 
terian missions. This school is as thoroughly 
evangelical and positive in its teachings as any 
to be found in Japan. 

There are besides these five boarding-schools 
for boys, with 376 students, and sixteen board- 
ing-schools for girls, with 795 pupils. 

The representatives of the Church of Christ are 
found throughout the length and breadth of the 
land and are doing a good work. It is likely 
that this church will take the lead in the future. 

Methodist Churches 

There are five branches of the Methodist 
Church at work, namely, the American Metho- 
dist Episcopal, the Canadian Methodist Episcopal, 
the Evangelical Association of North America, 
the Methodist Protestant, and the American 
Methodist Episcopal (South). There is no or- 
ganic union between these bodies, but harmony 
and fraternity prevail. Efforts at union have 
been made time and again, but have been as yet 
unsuccessful. We hope the future Methodist 
Church of Japan will be a united body. 

At present each one of these different bodies 
supports its own schools; their efficiency is thus 



186 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

impaired, and great loss of men, time, and money 
entailed. In the whole Methodist Church there 
are five boys' boarding-schools, with 329 scholars ; 
sixteen girls' boarding-schools, with 970 scholars; 
and five theological schools, with 60 students. 

There are 143 missionaries, 115 native minis- 
ters, 116 catechists, and 7678 members. 

The Methodist missions have had a rapid, sub- 
stantial growth and are exerting a strong influ- 
ence. They surpass all other bodies in annual 
contributions per member, and I think it may be 
said that the native Methodist churches have 
shown less of self-seeking and more of self-sacri- 
fice than the others. The emotional character 
of Methodism adapts it to the taste of the people. 

Episcopalians 

The five branches of this church working in 
Japan are laboring unitedly for the establishment 
of one native church, called Nippon Sei Kokwai. 
These five bodies are the American Protestant 
Episcopal Church, the Church Missionary Society 
(English), the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel (English), the Wyclif College Mission 
(Canada), and the English Church in Canada. 
The united body has 149 missionaries, 30 native 
ministers, 124 unordained helpers, and 5555 
communicant members. 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 187 

This church conducts five boarding-schools for 
boys, with 169 scholars; eight boarding-schools 
for girls, with 263 scholars ; and four theological 
schools, with 52 students. This body has done 
a great deal of hard, substantial work, and has 
enjoyed a fair degree of the popular favor. 
During these late reactionary years, when other 
missions have made little progress, its growth 
has continued uninterruptedly. The Nippon Sei 
Kokwai is presided over by five bishops, four of 
whom are English and one American. Two are 
located in Tokyo, one in Hokkaido, one in Osaka, 
and one in Nagasaki. 

Baptists 

There are four Baptist societies doing mission 
work in Japan: the Baptist Missionary Union 
(United States), the Disciples of Christ, the 
Christian Church of America, and the Southern 
Baptist Convention. There is no organic union 
between them, but the first- and last-named 
bodies work together. The four bodies unitedly 
have 92 missionaries, 14 native ministers, 68 native 
catechists, and 2327 members. 

They have one boarding-school for boys, with 
14 students; six boarding-schools for girls, with 
205 students ; and two theological schools, with 2 1 
students. 



188 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

The Baptist missionaries laboring in Japan are 
an able, hard-working, evangelical body of men, 
and there are some good, strong native Baptist 
ministers. 

Lutherans 

The Lutheran Church began mission work in 
Japan only four years ago, and as yet her mission 
is small. It is supported by the United Synod 
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South 
(United States). The Lutheran Church in the 
United States has occupied a peculiar position. 
A large per cent, of the emigrants from the Old 
World are of Lutheran antecedents. Hundreds 
of thousands of them have come over and settled 
in the West, and the energies of the American 
Lutheran Church have been largely expended 
in caring for these unhoused and unshepherded 
sheep of her own flock. It seems that Provi- 
dence has allotted to her this special work. No 
other church in America is carrying on home 
mission work on so large a scale, among so 
many different nationalities, and in so many lan- 
guages. Because of the great home mission work 
that has naturally fallen into her hands and de- 
manded her men and money she has not engaged 
in foreign work as extensively as some other 
American bodies. 

And yet the American contingent of this old 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 189 

mother church of Protestantism has a foreign- 
mission record of which she is not ashamed. She 
has supported for many years a mission on the 
west coast of Africa, at Muhlenberg, that is by 
universal consent the most successful mission in 
West Africa. She is also supporting two large 
and successful missions in India. 

The Lutheran mission in Japan was begun as 
a venture. The after development of the work 
has amply justified the wisdom of the undertak- 
ing. It is not the purpose of the Lutheran 
Church to antagonize any of the bodies now at 
work in Japan, but rather to stand, amid all the 
doctrinal unrest characteristic of Japanese Chris- 
tianity, for pure doctrine, as she has always done. 
It is her purpose to teach a positive, evangelical 
Christianity. 

The working force of the mission consists of 2 
missionaries and their wives, 2 native helpers, and 
I Bible-woman. The field occupied is small. 
There is only one station, and that is in the city 
of Saga, on the island of Kyushu. Much work 
is done in the surrounding villages and towns 
from Saga as a center. It is not the purpose of 
this mission to use large numbers of men and 
great quantities of money, as some others have 
d one. It purposes working intensively rather than 
extensively. It attempts to devote all of its time 
to evangelistic work, and does not engage in 



10 ?HE GIST OF JAPAN 

educational work further than theological instruc- 
tion. 

Although the missionaries came to Japan in 
1892, the station was not opened until 1893. 
Since that time about 55 converts have been 
baptized. 

There are numerous small Christian bodies at 
work, such as the Scandinavian Japan Alliance, 
the Society of Friends, the International Mission- 
ary Alliance, the Hephzibah Faith Missionary 
Association, and the Salvation Army. There are 
also three liberal bodies working here, generally 
classed as unevangelical : the Evangelical Prot- 
estant Missionary Society, the Universalist mis- 
sion, and the Unitarian mission. 

The English and American Bible and tract 
societies have ably seconded these missionary 
bodies by the circulation of large numbers of 
Bibles, tracts, and various kinds of Christian 
books. The value of their work can hardly be 
estimated. The American Bible Society, the 
National Bible Society of Scotland, the British 
and Foreign Bible Society, the American Tract 
Society, and the London Religious Tract Society 
have all had a part in the work. 

Such is a brief enumeration of the Christian 
forces at work in Japan. With so large a body 
of consecrated workers and so much missionary 



PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN JAPAN 191 

machinery, it seems that the work of evangeliza- 
tion ought to go on rapidly. A great deal has 
already been accomplished, as the figures given 
above show. A native church of 40,000 people 
is no mean prize ; but this is only the smallest 
part of the work of the missions. They have 
created a Christian literature, disseminated a cer- 
tain knowledge of the gospel among the people, 
and in a hundred different ways indirectly influ- 
enced the life of this nation. Japanese missions 
have been a brilliant success. 



XI 

QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK IN JAPAN 

FOR mission work, as for every other calling in 
life, some men are naturally adapted, others are 
not. Those by nature fitted for the work will in 
all probability have a reasonable degree of suc- 
cess, while no amount of zeal or spiritual fervor 
can make successful those not so fitted. It is 
true to a large extent that missionaries are born, 
not made. 

How important it becomes, then, that mission 
boards and societies should carefully consider the 
qualifications of all applicants before they are sent 
to the mission field ! How necessary it is for all 
those contemplating work in certain fields, before 
offering their services to the boards, to examine 
whether their qualifications are such as to justify 
an expectation of a reasonable degree of success 
in those fields ! 

For the benefit of the various missionary soci- 
192 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 193 

eties that are annually choosing and sending out 
new men to Japan, as well as for the advantage 
of those who contemplate offering themselves for 
work in this field, I will put down a few thoughts 
on the necessary qualifications for successful mis- 
sion work here. 

These may be roughly classified as physical, 
spiritual, and mental. 

PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS. I regard phys- 
ical qualifications as of supreme importance. 
Many of my readers will think that the spiritual 
should precede the physical, but with this opin- 
ion I do not agree. Health is absolutely essen- 
tial to successful work; deep spirituality, while 
greatly to be desired, is not so essential. Many 
men have failed on the field and have been 
forced to withdraw because of a lack of physical 
qualifications, while few have failed for lack of 
spiritual qualifications. I think it is true that 
young men who when in college and seminary 
appear to be almost consumed with missionary 
zeal and enthusiasm, who are pointed out as ex- 
amples in spirituality, and who are burning with 
a desire to get into the foreign field, do not make 
as good missionaries as some others. Men who 
pledge themselves in youth, and who, actuated 
by a wild enthusiasm, which has more zeal than 
knowledge, urge themselves upon the mission 
boards, do not do as good work as those chosen 



194 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

by the boards themselves, who may never have 
considered seriously foreign work before the call 
was extended to them. Enthusiasm and zeal are 
good things in their place, but they are apt to 
lead men to extremes. People who enter mission 
work simply because they are filled with a burn- 
ing enthusiasm and zeal are not likely to stay as 
long or work as well as those who enter upon the 
work with more hesitation, after careful delibera- 
tion and a counting of the cost. 

Wallace Taylor, M.D., of Osaka, Japan, him- 
self an experienced missionary of the American 
Board, says : " I should advise that men be 
chosen for their physical and mental adaptation 
and ability rather than for their burning zeal for 
the foreign work To maintain health and be a 
successful missionary a man must possess more 
judgment than enthusiasm and more discretion 
than zeal. Enthusiasm and zeal are good quali- 
ties in a missionary, but to these you must add 
that which is better judgment, wisdom, and 
self-control. The burning fire shut up in the 
bones, that cannot be controlled, only consumes 
vital energies and speedily produces failing health. 
We need men who can stand and face the white 
harvest and the many calls to work, and yet with 
cool deliberation preserve their strength for future 
work. We want men sent for their cool deliber- 
ation and self-control rather than for their burn- 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 195 

ing zeal and enthusiasm. We need men who 
are intellect rather than a bundle of nerves. A 
nervous, excitable, uneasy person will fret and 
wear himself out in from six months to three 
years in Japan." 

It is desirable, then, in the first place, that the 
missionary be a sound physical man. No one 
should be accepted by a mission board for work 
in Japan who cannot secure a policy in a reliable 
life-insurance company, and it would be well if 
the medical examination were made by an ex- 
aminer for such company. The examinations 
made by a physician appointed by the mission 
boards are usually mere farces, for the desire to 
go as a missionary frequently covers up many 
physical weaknesses and prevents a thorough 
examination. The examination should therefore 
be made by a disinterested medical man, who 
will not be influenced by such motives. 

It seems hard to subject candidates for mission 
work to such rigid examinations, and perhaps re- 
fuse to send them because of some small physi- 
cal defect; but the interests of the work make 
it imperative. Otherwise the young missionary 
will, in all probability, break down and have to 
go home in three or four years, before he has 
been able to do any active work. The experi- 
ment will have cost the board a large amount of 
money and a loss of several years, and the mis- 



196 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

sionary some of the best years of his life, prob- 
ably making of him an incurable invalid. In so 
serious a matter as this the boards cannot afford 
to be swayed by sentiment. Nothing but sound 
business principles should be followed. 

The same physical requirements should be 
made for the woman as for the man. She, too, 
should be subjected to a medical examination, 
and any serious defect in her constitution should 
cause her immediate rejection. It seems hard to 
subject the wife to this test, as she is not a mis- 
sionary in the strict sense of the term, and to 
many the requirement will be distasteful ; but for 
their protection, and for a judicious use of con- 
secrated funds, the boards should require it. A 
little thought will show that the failure of the 
wife's health is just as disastrous for the mission 
as the failure of her husband's. It cripples his 
efficiency while on the field, and ultimately drives 
him home. Most boards operating in Japan have 
not made this requirement, and as a consequence 
many missionaries' wives are in poor health, and 
as many men have had to return home because 
of the failure of their wives' health as for any 
other one cause. 

The mission boards should not appoint too 
young men to work in Japan. It is well known 
that young men cannot endure so well as older 
ones change of climate and hard work. Those 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 197 

who are physically and mentally immature will 
very probably be unable to bear the strain. In 
general, no one should be sent out under twenty- 
five years of age, and it would be safer if all who 
came had attained the age of thirty. Against 
this it is argued that a young person will acquire 
the language more readily than an older one, and 
this is doubtless true. But health is qf first im- 
portance. 

SPIRITUAL QUALIFICATIONS. Although I 
consider spiritual qualifications after physical 
ones, I nevertheless regard them as of great im- 
portance. It is highly desirable that every mis- 
sionary be a deeply spiritual man, fully conse- 
crated to the cause of Christ. The consecration 
needed in the missionary is little different from 
that needed in the home pastor. If he has given 
himself and all that he has to Christ, he will be 
ready to work for Him anywhere. Those who 
come to the mission field without such consecra- 
tion, expecting the grandeur of the work to beget 
it, will be bitterly disappointed. In many in- 
stances contact with heathenism weakens more 
than it strengthens consecration. The societies 
should require that those who are to do spiritual 
work should be consecrated, spiritual men. 

The missionary should be sound in the faith, 
should clearly discern and readily accept the 
fundamental doctrines of Christianity, and should 



198 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

be able to distinguish between essentials and 
non-essentials, tenaciously holding to the former, 
while allowing liberty in regard to the latter. 
He will encounter many strange things in his 
new environment; many of his pet theories 
will be exploded, and he will meet much that 
will try his faith. His belief in the essentials of 
Christianity should be so strong that even if his 
views undergo a change in non-essentials he shall 
not be shaken at the center. He must be able to 
defend his faith against its enemies, as well as to 
impart it to those to whom he is sent. To do 
this his own hold upon it must be firm and un- 
yielding. 

The missionary should have a positive, not a 
negative, faith. His position should continually 
be one of offense, not of defense. His faith must 
be aggressive and dominant in its hold upon 
others, must be both persuasive and constructive. 
He must be sure of the faith in which he trusts, 
and must be positive in his presentation of it to 
the world 

It is especially important that the missionary's 
doctrinal development be full and rounded. He 
should see all the doctrines of the Christian sys- 
tem in their proper relation to one another, and 
should give due importance to each. A one- 
sided, eccentric man, who has struck off from the 
main line of doctrinal development and is on a 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 199 

side-track, having exalted some one phase of the 
Christian teaching or life to the exclusion of 
others, is not fitted for mission work. He can be 
used to better effect at home, because there he 
is continually under restraining influences, while 
here there are no restraints. For this reason 
what would be only a harmless eccentricity at 
home may result in great mischief abroad. Those 
who are to found the church in Japan, to shape 
its theology and its life, should be well-rounded 
men, who will not unduly exalt any one doctrine, 
but who, having a comprehensive view of the 
Christian system, will give due importance to 
every part. 

It is very important that prospective mission- 
aries fully count the cost, and be prepared before- 
hand to endure patiently the trials and hardships 
that will be sure to meet them. No one should 
go out without having carefully considered all of 
these things, and gained the full consent of his 
heart to endure them. If the cost has not been 
counted, and the work willingly entered upon 
with a full knowledge of its hardships and diffi- 
culties, the encounter of these upon the field is 
apt to result in disappointment and dissatisfaction. 

Every missionary should be a lover of human- 
ity, even in its lowest and most degraded forms. 
It is useless for us to attempt to persuade and 
influence non- Christian men if we do not love 



200 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

them. The audiences we address may not be 
moved by our logic or rhetoric; our most elo- 
quent sermons may have no effect on them ; but 
practical illustrations of our love for them will al- 
ways meet with a hearty response. Love is the 
key that opens all hearts, " Faith, hope, love, 
these three; but the greatest of these is love." 

To love refined Christian men and women is 
easy, but to love humanity in its more degraded 
forms is hard. And yet the missionary must be 
prepared to love an alien race, that regards him 
with coolness and distrust. He must be ready 
to associate with lowly people, amid humble and 
immoral surroundings, and to be patient, kind, 
and loving to the most degraded. No one who 
has not lived on the mission field and associated 
freely with the people knows how hard this is. 
Such love will win more men to Christ than elo- 
quent preaching or most careful instruction. The 
man who possesses a large amount of it, other 
things being equal, will meet with success. 

The missionary should, as far as possible, pre- 
sent in his own character all Christian graces. 
He will be looked upon as a product of the faith 
he represents, and will exercise more influence 
by his life than by his words. He must not be 
impatient, quarrelsome, or wilful, and, above all, 
he must not be proud. Constant association with 
an inferior race is apt to beget a haughty, dom- 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 201 

ineering manner, and the missionary needs to be 
especially on his guard against this. He may 
present no striking defects of character, else his 
faith will be held responsible for them. Peculiar- 
ities and faults that are known to be merely per- 
sonal at home are regarded in the mission field 
as the result of a bad religion. 

It is very important that the missionary be an 
attractive man, possessed of personal magnetism. 
He should by nature draw men, not repel them. 
Although hard to define, we all know what this 
power is. Let a little child come into a room 
where two men are sitting. It will readily go to 
the one, but no amount of coaxing will induce it 
to go to the other. The one possesses an innate 
power to attract, while the other repels. Where 
the personal element plays so important a role it 
is essential that the missionary possess the power 
to draw men. 

MENTAL QUALIFICATIONS. Hardly less im- 
portant than physical and spiritual are the men- 
tal qualifications. A mediocre man cannot do 
good work in any mission field,, least of all in a 
field like Japan. None but strong men should be 
sent out. In former years, when the science of 
missions was little understood, it was thought a 
waste to send a man of unusual intellectual en- 
dowments, because an ordinary man could do the 
work just as well; but the boards have wisely 



202 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

abandoned that policy. Experience has clearly 
demonstrated the wisdom of sending the very 
best men that can be had. 

In the first place, the prospective missionary to 
Japan should have as complete and thorough a 
mental training as possible. A full academic and 
theological course is highly desirable. He should 
know how to reason logically and profoundly, 
and should be a skilled dialectician, able to meet 
the native scholars on their own ground. The 
subtle philosophies of the East, which he will 
daily encounter, can only be dealt with by a man 
thoroughly trained. The atheistic and agnostic 
philosophies of the West are spread over all 
Japan, and the missionary must be able to com- 
bat them. 

Another reason why the missionary should be 
as highly educated as possible is that large num- 
bers of the Japanese people are highly educated, 
and a man of poor ability and training cannot 
command their respect Education is to-day 
being diffused more and more throughout Japan, 
and the missionary must work among an edu- 
cated people. It is necessary that he feel him- 
self to be at least the intellectual equal of all with 
whom he comes in contact. 

In order, then, successfully to combat the sub- 
tle philosophies of the East, to show the fallacies 
of the prevalent skeptical philosophies of the 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 203 

West, and to command the respect of the people 
among whom he labors, the missionary to this 
land should have a thorough intellectual train- 
ing. 

Linguistic talent is another essential, and es- 
pecially so in Japan. No one should be sent here 
who is deficient in this. This language is perhaps 
the most difficult of all spoken languages for an 
Occidental to acquire. It is so thoroughly un- 
like any of the European languages that the stu- 
dent must change his view-point and learn to 
look at things as the Japanese do before he can 
make much progress. To master it one must 
study both Japanese and Chinese. While a fair 
linguist can, by hard work, preach with compar- 
ative intelligibility after three years of study, a 
complete mastery of the language is the work of 
a lifetime. 

If any one contemplating mission work in 
Japan remembers that he was a poor student of 
languages at college and made little progress in 
them, let him feel assured that he can probably 
serve the Lord better at home. I state this 
matter strongly because just here is where so 
many missionaries fail. There are men who 
have been here ten or fifteen years and yet who 
experience great difficulty in constructing the 
smallest sentence in Japanese. Such men are not 
useless ; in certain departments they serve well ; 



204 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

but they would probably be of more use at 
home. At least one third of all the missionaries 
in Japan, if called upon to make an extempore 
address in Japanese, would be found wanting. 
In view of these facts, how important it be- 
comes that only those men be sent out who 
have a reasonable expectation of learning the 
language ! 

Along with natural linguistic talent, the pro- 
spective missionary should have a large amount of 
perseverance. Nothing but persistent, slavish 
work through many years will enable one to 
speak Japanese well; and no one should come 
here who is not willing to stick to an unattractive 
task until it is accomplished 

It is of primary importance that the missionary 
have a large endowment of common sense. 
Nothing else will make up for deficiency in this. 
It alone gives power to adapt one's self to a new 
environment and to live under changed condi- 
tions. The demands upon common sense here 
are much greater than at home, because the 
conditions under which we live are so different, 
and the practical questions that daily meet us are 
so numerous. Dr. Lawrence finely says : " At 
home so much common sense has been organized 
into custom that we are all largely supported by 
the general fund, and many men get along with 
a very slender stock of their own. But on the 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 205 

mission field, where Christian custom is yet in 
the making, the drafts on common sense would 
soon overdraw a small account/' 

A knowledge of music will be found of great 
assistance to the missionary, the more the better. 
He will often have to start his own hymns, play 
the organ, or direct the music. He may have to 
translate hymns and set them to music, or even 
compose tunes himself. Good church music is 
now so essential in worship that every missionary 
should have a knowledge of it. But this quali- 
fication, while highly desirable, is not indispen- 
sable. 

The missionary also needs to a great degree 
the power of self-control. He should be a cool, 
conservative man, able to govern himself under 
all circumstances. He must not be moved to 
excessive labor by the present needs of the work, 
but must exercise self-restraint, husbanding his 
strength for future tasks. One of the most diffi- 
cult things to do is to refrain from overwork 
when the need of work is so apparent But the 
missionary must consider the permanent interests 
of the work ahead of its temporary needs. 

To sum up the desired intellectual qualifica- 
tions : a missionary to Japan should have a good 
mind, well disciplined by thorough training; an 
abundant supply of common sense; linguistic 
ability, and the power of self-control 



206 THE CIST OP JAPAN 

There is one other qualification, that can hardly 
be classed under any of the above heads, i.e., the 
missionary should be a married man. The vast 
majority of missionaries in the field to-day are 
unanimous in this judgment. The experience 
of the various mission boards and societies also 
confirms it, and they are sending out fewer 
single men each year. 

Married men make more efficient workers for 
many reasons. They enjoy better health and 
are better satisfied. They have a home to which 
they can go for rest and sympathy, and in which 
they can find agreeable companionship. They 
have the loving ministrations of a wife in times 
of sickness and despondency, and they also have 
the cheer and relaxation of children's society. 
All of these things tend to make the missionary 
healthier and happier, and enable him to do bet- 
ter work. 

Again, he should be married because a man of 
mature years who is single is regarded with more 
or less suspicion. To the Japanese celibacy is 
an unnatural state, and it is seldom found. Most 
unmarried men here are immoral, and therefore 
the unmarried missionary is naturally suspected 
of leading an immoral life, which cripples his in- 
fluence. 

But the strongest argument in favor of married 
as against single missionaries is that the former 



QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSION WORK 207 

alone are able to build Christian homes. The 
homes of single men are very poor things at best, 
and certainly cannot be pointed to as models. 
But the married man establishes a Christian home 
in the midst of his people, and sets them a con- 
crete example of what Christian family life should 
be. This example is one of the most potent in- 
fluences for good operating on the mission field. 

In home life perhaps more than in any other 
respect Japanese society is wanting. The reno- 
vation of the home is one of the crying needs of 
the hour. An open Christian home, exhibiting 
the proper relations between husband and wife, 
parents and children, will do much toward bring- 
ing this about. 

This argument is not intended to apply against 
single women who come out to teach in the girls' 
schools. Their work is entirely different, and Is 
such as can be done best by single women. The 
argument 'applies only to the missionary engaged 
in evangelistic work. 

Such I believe to be the qualifications essential 
to successful mission work in Japan. To many 
the requirements may seem too strict. But the 
work to which the missionary is called is a high 
and noble one, and the ideal for a worker should 
be correspondingly high. The extreme difficulty 
of the work, and its great expense, make it im- 
perative that only men adapted to it be sent out 



208 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

While setting forth this high ideal of what a 
missionary to this land should be, no one is more 
sensible than the writer of the fact that many 
missionaries, including himself, fail to realize it. 
But he is glad to be able to affirm that a large 
per cent, of these desired qualifications are found 
in the majority of the missionary brethren in 
Japan. 



XII 

PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 

IT is our purpose in this chapter to show the 
churches at home something of the life which 
their missionaries lead in Japan. We will attempt 
to draw aside the veil and look at their private 
life the holy of holies. This is a delicate task, 
and I hesitate to undertake it. And yet I think 
a knowledge of the trials, perils, discouragements, 
temptations, hopes, and fears of the missionary 
may be very profitable to those who support 
our missions. 

Missionaries are men of like appetites, passions, 
hopes, and desires with those at home. They 
long for and enjoy the comforts and amenities 
of life. They have wives and children whom 
they love as devotedly, and for whom they desire 
to provide as comfortable homes, as the pastor 
at home. 

There was a time when, missionaries were 

209 



210 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

called upon to forego nearly all social' pleasures 
and submit to endless discomforts, but that time 
is past. The mission home to-day is frequently 
as comfortable as that of the pastor in America. 
It is right that the standard of living in the home 
lands should be maintained by the missionaries 
abroad, and that they surround themselves with 
all available pleasures and conveniences. There 
is no reason why a man should lay aside all 
pleasures and comforts so soon as he becomes a 
missionary. 

Those who live in the foreign ports in Japan 
have nice, roomy houses modeled after Western 
homes. Many of them are surrounded with 
beautiful lawns and fine flowers, and are a com- 
fort and delight to their possessors. Most of the 
missionaries who live in the interior occupy native 
houses, slightly modified to suit foreign taste. 
By building chimneys, and substituting glass for 
paper windows, the native houses can be made 
quite comfortable, though they are colder in win- 
ter and do not look so well as foreign ones. The 
writer has lived in such a home during most of 
his residence in Japan, and has suffered little 
inconvenience. Some of the wealthier mission 
boards have built foreign houses even in the in- 
terior, and to-day there are a good many such 
scattered over Japan. 

As has been before remarked, the mission 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 211 

home Is one of the most important factors in 
connection with the work; it is a little bit of 
Christendom set down in the midst of heathen- 
dom. It presents to the non- Christian masses 
around it a concrete example of exalted family 
life, with equality and trust between husband and 
wife, and mutual love between parents and chil- 
dren things not generally found in the native 
home. It is a beacon-light shining in a dark 
place. 

This is one of the many reasons why a mis- 
sionary should be a married man. The single 
man cannot create this model home, which is to 
teach the people by example what Christian 
family life should be. In this respect Catholic 
missions are deficient, the celibacy of the priests 
precluding family life. 

First, then, the mission home is an example to 
the non- Christian people around it It is fre- 
quently open to them, and they can see its work- 
ings. They often share its hospitality and sit at 
its table. Their keen eyes take in everything, 
and a deep impression is made upon them. 

Just here arises one of the greatest difficulties 
the missionary has to contend with in his private 
life. The people are so inquisitive naturally, the 
mission home is so attractive to them, and our 
idea of the privacy and sanctity of the home is so 
lacking in their etiquette, that it is hard to keep 



212 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the home from becoming public. People will 
come in large numbers at the most unseasonable 
hours, simply out of curiosity, wanting to see 
and handle everything in the house. It is often 
necessary, in self-defense, to refuse them admit- 
tance, except at certain hours. Not only are the 
seclusion and privacy of the home endangered, 
but the missionary also is in great danger of hav- 
ing his valuable time uselessly frittered away. 

Notwithstanding all that the mission home is 
to the people, it is much more to the missionary. 
It should be to him a sure retreat and seclusion 
from the peculiarly trying cares and worries of 
his work. It should be a place where he can 
evade the subtle influences of heathenism which 
creep in at every pore a safe retreat from the 
sin and wickedness and vice around it. 

The mission home should be a Western home 
transplanted in the East. It may not become 
too much orientalized. It should have Western 
furniture, pictures, musical instruments, etc., and 
should make its possessor feel that he is in a 
Western home. It should be well supplied with 
books and newspapers, and everything else that 
will help to keep its inmates in touch with the 
life of the West. The missionary may not be 
orientalized, else he will be in danger of becom- 
ing heathenized. 

For the sake of his children the missionary's 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 213 

home should be as exact a reproduction of the 
Western home as possible. These children are 
citizens o the West, heirs of its privileges ; and 
to it they will go before they reach years of 
maturity. Therefore it is but fair that their child- 
hood home should reflect its civilization. 

In order that the missionary may be able to 
build up such a home it is necessary that he 
be paid a liberal salary. While living in native 
style is very cheap, living in Western style is 
perhaps as dear here as in any country in the 
world. Clothing, furniture, much of the food, 
etc., must be brought from the West; and we 
must pay for it not only what the people at 
home pay, but the cost of carrying it half-way 
round the world, and the commission of two or 
three middlemen besides. 

Most boards operating in Japan pay their men 
a liberal salary. They also pay an allowance for 
each child, health allowance, etc. All this is 
well. Man is an animal, and, like other animals, 
he must be well cared for if he is to do his best 
work. No farmer would expect to get hard work 
out of a horse that was only half fed, and no 
mission board can expect to get first-class work 
out of a missionary who is not liberally supported. 
The missionary has enough to worry him without 
having to be anxious about finances. 

Especially is it wise that the boards give their 



214 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

men an allowance for children. The expenses 
incident to a child's coming into the world in 
the East are very high. The doctor's bill alone 
amounts frequently to more than $100. Then 
a nurse is absolutely necessary, there being no 
relatives and friends to perform this office, as 
sometimes there are in the West. The birth of a 
child here means a cash outlay of $150 to $200, 
to pay which the missionary is often reduced to 
hard straits. If he belongs to a board that makes 
a liberal child's allowance he is fortunately re- 
lieved from this difficulty. 

The allowance is also necessary to provide for 
the future education of the child. As there are 
no suitable schools here, children must be sent 
home to school at an early age. They cannot 
stay in the parental home and attend school from 
there, as American children do, but must be 
from childhood put into a boarding-school, and 
this takes money. Now no missionaries' salaries 
are sufficiently large to enable them to lay up 
much money, and unless there is a child's allow- 
ance there will be no money for his education, in 
which event the missionary must sacrifice his 
self-respect by asking some school or friends to 
educate his child. He feels that if any one in 
the world deserves a salary sufficient to meet all 
necessary expenses without begging, he does; 
and it hurts him to give his life in hard service to 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 215 

the church in a foreign land, and then have his 
children educated on charity. 

All mission boards should give their men an 
allowance for each child, unless the salary paid is 
sufficiently large to enable them to lay aside a 
sufficient sum for this very purpose. 

The health allowance is also a wise provision be- 
cause the climate is such as often to necessitate 
calling in a physician, and doctors* bills are enor- 
mously high. If the missionary is not well he 
cannot work; but if he is left to pay for medical 
attendance himself out of a very meager salary, 
all of which is needed by his wife and children, 
he will frequently deny himself the services of a 
physician when they are really needed. 

The work of the missionary is most trying, and 
the demands on his health and strength are very 
exhausting. The petty worries and trials that 
constantly meet him, the rivalries and quarrels 
which his converts bring to him for settlement, 
the care of the churches, anxiety about his 
family, etc., are a constant strain on his vital 
force, in order to withstand which it is necessary 
that he should have regular periods of rest and 
recreation. Nature demands relaxation, and she 
must nave it, or the Health of the worker fails. 

It is customary in Japan for the missionaries to 
leave their fields of work during the summet 
season and spend six weeks or two months in 



216 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

sanatoria among the mountains or by the sea- 
shore. Here their work, with its cares and anxi- 
eties, is all laid aside. The best-known sanatoria 
in Japan are Karuizawa, Arima, Hakone, Sapporo, 
and Mount Hiezan. In most of these places 
good accommodations are provided, and the hot 
weeks can be spent very pleasantly. Large 
numbers of missionaries gather there, and for a 
short time the tired, isolated worker can enjoy 
the society of his own kind ; his wife can meet 
and chat with other housewives ; and his children 
can enjoy the rare pleasure of playing with other 
children white like themselves. These resorts 
are cool, the air is pure and invigorating, and 
the missionary returns from them in September 
feeling fresh and strong, ready to take up with 
renewed vigor his arduous labors. 

It is objected to these vacations that they take 
the missionary away from his field of work, and 
that so long an absence on his part is very inju- 
rious to the cause. This is partially true ; but a 
wise economy considers the health of the worker 
and his future efficiency more than the temporary 
needs of the work. The absence of the foreign 
worker for a short period is not as hurtful as 
one would at first glance suppose. A relatively 
larger part of the work is left in the hands of the 
native helpers in Japan than in most mission 
fields, and these evangelists stay at their posts 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 217 

all through the summer, and care for its interests 
while the foreigner is away. The same need of 
a vacation does not exist in their case, because 
they are accustomed to the climate, and they 
work through their native tongue and among 
their own people. 

The need of this missionary vacation is so evi- 
dent that we need only give it in outline. In the 
first place, the unfavorable climate makes a change 
and rest desirable. As I have already stated, the 
climate of Japan is not only very warm, but also 
contains an excessive amount of moisture and a 
very small per cent, of ozone, and is lacking in 
atmospheric magnetism and electricity ; hence its 
effect upon people from the West is depressing. 
Besides the climate, the missionary's work is so 
exhaustive and trying, and its demands upon him 
are so great, that a few weeks' rest are absolutely 
necessary. The same reasons which at home 
justify the city pastor in taking a vacation are 
intensified in the missionary's case. 

Not least of these reasons is that the missionary 
may for a while enjoy congenial society. Many 
of us spend ten months of the year isolated al- 
most entirely from all people of our own kind. 
The Japanese are so different that we can have 
but little social life with them; and it is but 
natural and right that, for a short period, we 
should have the opportunity to meet and asso- 



218 THE CIST OF JAPAN 

date with our fellow-missionaries. The work 
which we do the remainder of the year is done 
much better because of this rest and fellowship. 

Dr. J. C. Berry, in a paper read before the 
missionary conference at Osaka in 1883, discusses 
very fully this question of missionary vacations 
and furloughs. After elaborating the reasons for 
them, which reasons I have given in brief above, 
he says : " It therefore follows that, because of 
the numerous and complex influences operating 
to-day to produce nerve-tire in the missionary in 
Japan, regard for the permanent interests of his 
work requires that a vacation be taken in sum- 
mer by those residing in central and southern 
Japan, the same to be accompanied by as much 
of recreation and change as circumstances will 
permit.' 1 

With all the care and precaution that can be 
taken, with systematic rests and vacations, there 
soon comes a time when it is necessary for the 
missionary to return to his home land, to breathe 
again the air of his youth, and to replenish his 
physical, mental, and moral being. All the mis- 
sion boards recognize this and permit their men 
in this and in other fields to return home on fur- 
lough after a certain number of years. The defi- 
nite time required by the different missions before 
a furlough is granted varies from three to ten 
years, the latter period being the most general. 



PRIVATE LIFE OP THE MISSIONARY 

But this has been found to be too long, and fail- 
ing health usually compels an earlier return. 
Some boards have no set time, but a tacit under- 
standing exists that the missionary may go home 
at the end of six or eight years. 

At the end of the prescribed period the mis- 
sionary family is taken home at the expense of 
the board, and is given a rest of a year or eigh- 
teen months. During this time, if the missionary 
is engaged in preaching or lecturing for the board, 
as is generally the case, he is paid his full salary. 
If he does no work he is sometimes paid only 
half his salary. This is very hard, as the salary 
is just large enough to support him and his family, 
and their expenses while at home are almost as 
great as while in the field. If the salary is cut 
down the pleasure and benefit of the furlough are 
curtailed. If the missionary in the service of the 
board exhausts his health and strength in an un- 
favorable climate it seems but fair that he should 
be properly supported while endeavoring to re- 
cuperate. When a church at home votes its pas- 
tor a vacation, instead of cutting down his salary 
during his absence, it is customary to give him 
an extra sum to enable him to enjoy it Why 
should not the same be done for the missionary? 
He should at least be permitted to draw the full 
amount of his small salary. 

Against these vacations is urged their great 



220 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

expense to the boards, the greater loss to the 
mission because of the absence of the worker, 
and the moral effect of frequent returns upon the 
church at home. All of these objections have 
weight, but they are far outweighed by the rea- 
sons that necessitate the furlough. The accumu- 
lated experience of the different boards makes 
the judgment unanimous that these are necessary. 

The judgment of competent medical men also 
confirms the statement. Dr. Taylor said in the 
Osaka conference : " I am convinced that a mis- 
sionary's highest interest requires, and the great- 
est efficiency in his work will be secured by, a 
return home at stated intervals." Dr. Berry said 
in the same conference : " The new and strange 
social conditions under which the missionary is 
obliged to work ; the effects of climate, intensified 
in many cases by comparative youth ; the absence 
of many of those home comforts and social, intel- 
lectual, and religious privileges with which the 
Christian civilization of to-day so plentifully sur- 
rounds life ; the home ties, strengthened by youth- 
ful affections, all these combine with present 
facilities of travel to render it advisable that the 
young missionary be at liberty to take a compara- 
tively early vacation in his native land." 

From an economic standpoint it is wise to grant 
these furloughs. It is poor economy to keep the 
workers in the field until they are completely 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 

broken down, and then have to replace them by 
inexperienced men, who will not be able to do 
the work of the old ones for years. Far wiser is 
it to let them stop and recuperate in the home 
lands before this breakdown comes. It costs less 
money to keep a missionary well than to care for 
him during a long, unprofitable period of sickness. 
I quote again on this point Wallace Taylor, M.D., 
who, in the paper referred to above, said : " The 
present haphazard, unsystematic methods of most 
missions and boards is attended with the greatest 
expense and the poorest returns. Some of the 
boards working in Japan have lost more time and 
expended more money in caring for their broken- 
down missionaries than it would cost to carry out 
the recommendations herein made. Again, I ob- 
serve that many who do not break down begin 
to fail in health after the fourth or fifth year from 
entering on their work. They remain on the 
field, and are reluctantly obliged to spend more 
or less time in partial work, while experiencing 
physical discomfort and dissatisfaction of mind. 
Very many of these cases would have accom- 
plished more for the means expended by a fur- 
lough home at the close of the fifth or sixth year. 
. . , Over $90,000 have been expended in Japan 
by one mission alone in distracted efforts to regain 
the health of its missionaries/' 
These furloughs are also needed to keep the 



THB GISf OP JAPAN 

missionary in touch with the life of the home 
churches. The West is rapidly progressing in 
civilization, in arts and sciences, and in theology 
as well. The missionary who spends ten or more 
years on the field before returning home finds 
himself in an entirely new atmosphere, with which 
he is unfamiliar. He looks at things from the 
standpoint of ten or more years ago ; his methods 
of work, his language, all are belated. In order 
that he may give to the nascent churches of Japan 
the very best theology, the very best methods, 
and the very best life of the Western churches, it 
is necessary for him to return frequently tobreathe 
in their spirit and life and keep up with their for- 
ward march. 

For the missionary's personal benefit he should 
be permitted to come into frequent contact with 
the home churches. A too long uninterrupted 
breathing of the poisonous atmosphere of hea- 
thenism has a wonderfully cooling effect upon his 
ardor and zeal, and is trying to his faith. He 
needs to come into contact with the broader faith 
and deeper life of the home churches, and receive 
from them new consecration and devotion to his 
work. 

The church at home needs also to come fre- 
quently into contact with its missionaries. Noth- 
ing will so stir up interest and zeal in the mission 
cause as to see and hear its needs from living, 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 

active workers, fresh from the field. If mission- 
aries were more frequently employed to repre- 
sent the cause to the churches at home perhaps 
our mission treasuries would not be so depleted. 
Mission addresses from home pastors are abstract 
and theoretical ; those from missionaries are con- 
crete and practical. The former speak from read- 
ing, the latter from personal experience. The 
address of the missionary comes with power be- 
cause he speaks of what he has seen and felt, and 
his personality is thrown into it. 

For the sake, then, of the work abroad, of the 
missionary himself, and of the home churches, 
missionaries should be required to take regular 
furloughs at stated intervals, and should spend 
them in the home lands. 

How long can the missionary safely work in 
Japan before taking his first furlough ? That will 
depend upon the nature of the man himself, and 
the kind of mission work in which he is engaged. 
The average length of time spent here by the 
missionaries before the first furlough is about 
seven years. There are no men more competent 
to pass judgment upon this matter than Drs. 
Berry and Taylor, who have spent the better part 
of their lives here, in the service of the American 
Board, and who are thoroughly acquainted with 
the conditions that surround us. Dr. Berry says : 
" I do not hesitate to affirm that the * ten-year- 



224 THE GIST OF JAP AN 

or-Ionger rule/ still adhered to by some mission- 
ary societies, and by many missionaries as well, 
is too long for the first term. ... I indorse what 
in substance has been suggested by my friend 
Dr. McDonald, viz., that the time of service on 
the field prior to the first furlough be seven 
years, and that prior to subsequent furloughs be 
ten years; this plan to be modified by health, 
existing conditions of work, home finances, and 
by individual preferences." Dr. Taylor says: 
" My observations have led me to the conclusion 
that the first furlough ought to be taken at the 
close of the fifth or sixth year, and after that once 
every eight or ten years." 

We have yet to look at the trials and sorrows, 
the encouragements and joys, of the missionary. 
We have already looked into the missionary's 
home ; let us now endeavor to look into his heart. 
If the former is his sanctum, this is his sanctum 
sanctorum ; and I trust my missionary brethren 
will pardon me for exposing it to the public view. 

We will pass by all physical hardships, such 
as climate, improper food, poor houses, etc. Al- 
though these are often greater hardships than 
the" people at home know, they are but " light 
afflictions" to the missionary. His real trials lie 
in an entirely different sphere. 

The greatest hardship the missionary has to 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 225 

bear is his loneliness and isolation. Separated 
almost entirely from his own race, he is deprived 
of all those social joys that are so dear to him. 
The thought of his kinsmen and friends is ever 
in his mind, but alas! they are so far away. 
He must go on year after year living among a 
people from whom an impassable gulf separates 
him, leading the same lonely life. For the first 
year or two he rather enjoys the quiet and pri- 
vacy, but by and by it becomes almost unendur- 
able. Dr. Edward Lawrence has correctly styled 
the missionary "an exile." We cannot do bet- 
ter than quote his words : " Very many of the 
missionary's heaviest burdens are summed up in 
the one word whose height and breadth and 
length and depth none knows so well as he that 
word 'exile/ It is not merely a physical exile 
from home and country and all their interests; 
it is not only an intellectual exile from all that 
would feed and stimulate the mind; it is yet 
more a spiritual exile from the guidance, the in- 
struction, the correction, from the support, the 
fellowship, the communion of the saints and the 
church at home. It is an exile as when a man is 
lowered with a candle into foul places, where the 
noxious gases threaten to put out his light, yet 
he must explore it all and find some way to drain 
off the refuse and let in the sweet air and sun to 
do their own cleansing work. . . . The mission- 



226 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

ary is not only torn away from those social bonds 
that sustain, or even almost compose, our men- 
tal, moral, and spiritual life, but he is forced into 
closest relations with heathenism, whose evils he 
abhors, whose power and fascinations, too, he 
dreads. And when at last he can save his own 
children only by being bereft of them, he feels 
himself an exile indeed." 

The missionary's life is full of disappointments. 
Men for whom he has labored and prayed it may 
be for years, and in whom he has placed implicit 
confidence, will often bitterly disappoint him in 
their Christian life. Boys who have been edu- 
cated on his charity, who are what they are 
solely by his help, will frequently be guilty of 
base ingratitude, and, worse yet, will repudiate 
his teachings. The native church not having 
generations of Christian ancestry behind it, and 
not being in a Christian environment, is often, it 
may be unwittingly, guilty of heathen practices 
that sorely try the heart of the missionary. 
The struggle between the new life and the old 
heathenism is still seen in the church-members 
and even in the native ministry. Each mission- 
ary, if he would be well and cheerful in his work, 
must learn to cast all burdens of such a charac- 
ter on the Lord, and not be oppressed by them. 

One of the greatest trials some of us have to 
bear is that we must live in an environment so 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 227 

unconducive to personal growth and development 
There is a great deal of ambition lurking about 
us still, and we do not like to see our own de- 
velopment cut short because of an unfavorable 
environment, while our friends and classmates 
at home, who were no more than our equals in 
former days, far surpass us in intellectual devel- 
opment and in influence and power. Perhaps a 
missionary should be above such thoughts and 
should be perfectly content with a life of obscu- 
rity and partial development; but missionaries 
are still men, and to many an ambitious one the 
limits placed upon his personal development are 
very irksome. 

But why are the conditions unfavorable to 
high personal development? Because those 
stimulants to prolonged, vigorous effort that 
exist in the West are lacking. The stimulus of 
competition, the contact of thinking minds, so 
necessary to enlist the full exercise of a man's 
powers, are largely wanting. One is shut up to 
his own thoughts and to those he gets from 
books, and his development, in so far as it does 
proceed, is very apt to be one-sided. This is 
the reason why so many missionaries are narrow, 
unable to see a subject in all its relations and to 
give due importance to each. 

The work of the missionary from beginning to 
end is one of self-sacrifice and self-effacement. 



228 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

There is no future for him in the councils of the 
native church. As the work grows and extends 
he must gradually take a back seat. As the 
native ministry develops, the foreign minister is 
less and less needed, and must gradually with- 
draw. 

Again, the home land, father and mother, 
brothers and sisters, friends and companions, are 
just as dear to the missionary as to any one else. 
Yet it seems inevitable that he will gradually 
grow away from them and be forgotten by them. 
Prolonged absence brings forgetfulness ; diverse 
labors and interests put people out of sympathy 
with one another. When the new missionary 
first comes out to his field, communication be- 
tween him and friends is frequent. Letters pass 
regularly, little remembrances are sent from time 
to time, and he is still in touch with his friends 
at home. But by and by a change comes. 
After one or two years exchange of presents 
and remembrances ceases ; gradually the letters 
cease also, and none come except those from his 
immediate family. Even these become less and 
less frequent. The arrival of the mails, which at 
first was looked forward to with so much joy, is 
now scarcely noted. An old American gentle- 
man who has spent some forty years in the East 
tells me that he now receives from the home land 
not more than two or three letters per year. 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 229 

After a few years of residence here one feels that 
he is largely out of touch with the life of the 
West, and that he is forgotten, by home and 
friends. 

It seems to me that churches and friends can 
do much toward preventing this, and toward 
brightening the lives of their missionaries, if they 
will. Let pastors and friends throughout the 
church take special pains to write interesting 
personal letters to the missionary. It will do him 
good just to be remembered in this way. It is 
natural that the same kindness, attention, and 
love that are shown to the home pastor should 
not be shown to the missionary, because he is so 
far away and the strong personal element is 
wanting. But if the churches would make an 
effort to share their kindness and beneficence 
between the home pastor and the foreign one it 
would be highly appreciated by the latter. 

Especially does this seem but fair in a case 
where a church supports its own missionary and 
where most of its members are personally ac- 
quainted with him. Such churches speak of hav- 
ing two pastors ; one at home ministering to them, 
and one abroad, in their stead, preaching the gos- 
pel to the heathen. Why should not these pas- 
tors have equal place in their hearts and receive 
equally their kindness and their gifts? If any 
preference is shown, it would seem that it should 



230 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

be to the foreign pastor, for he has much the 
harder work. But the foreign pastor is generally 
forgotten, while the home pastor, with whom liv- 
ing is much cheaper, is paid a larger salary ; he 
is given a vacation, and a purse to enable him to 
spend it pleasantly; at Christmas he is substan- 
tially remembered, and all through the year he is 
presented with numerous gifts and shown many 
favors. The poor lonely missionary is paid a 
moderate salary and is given no further thought. 
Imagine the feelings of a man in a mission field, 
supported by one church which always speaks of 
him as its foreign pastor, as he takes up a church 
paper and reads of the favors shown the home 
pastor ; among them such items as " a nice purse 
of fifty dollars/' " a three months' leave of ab- 
sence, and expenses to ." He cannot help 

thinking with a sigh of that unpaid doctor's bill 
of fifty dollars incurred by his wife's ill health 
last summer, or of the money needed to send 
his boy home to be educated. 

A church should try to remember its pastor 
abroad as well as the one at home. The home 
pastor himself could see to it that this is done. 
If he should simply say, when handed a present 
for some purpose, " Our foreign pastor has not 
been remembered by us, and he needs it more 
than I, therefore we will send this to him," the 
result would probably be that he and the foreign 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 231 

pastor would both be remembered. If little ex- 
pressions of appreciation and kindness, such as 
this, were occasionally shown the missionaries, it 
would do much to brighten and cheer their hard 
lives. These are little things, but the little things 
have much to do with our happiness. 

If the missionary life has its sorrows and dis- 
appointments, it has its pleasures and joys as 
well It is with great pleasure that I turn from 
the dark to the bright side of our lives. 

First I would mention that sweet peace and joy 
that come from the consciousness of doing one's 
duty. The true missionary feels that God has 
called him into the work, and that he is fulfilling 
the divine will. This knowledge brings with it 
much pleasure. The joy is all the sweeter be- 
cause of the sacrifices that must be undergone in 
answer to the divine call. He feels not only that 
he is in the field by the call of God, but also that 
God is with him in his work, leading, guiding, 
blessing, helping him. He hears the words of 
his Master, " Lo, I am with you alway," and he 
gladly responds, " In Thy presence is fullness of 
joy/' The brooding Spirit of God is especially 
near the Christian worker in foreign lands, and 
imparts to him much joy and peace. 

Another of the missionary's joys is to see the 
gospel gradually taking hold of the hearts of the 
people and renewing and transforming them. It 



232 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

is passing pleasant to tell the gospel story, so full 
of hope and joy, to these people whose religious 
ideas and aspirations are only dark and gloomy. 
Who could desire sweeter joy than to watch the 
transforming power of the gospel in the heart of 
some poor heathen, changing him from an idol- 
worshiping, immoral creature into a pure, con- 
sistent Christian? It is the good fortune of the 
missionary to see such changes taking place in 
the people to whom he ministers. And what a 
change it is! For gloom and dejection it gives 
joy and hope ; for blind, irresistible fate it gives 
a loving providence. The change is so great 
tjhat every feature of the face expresses it. 

Lastly, the crown of the missionary's life is to 
see a strong, vigorous native church springing 
up around him, the direct result of his labors; 
to see it gradually and silently spreading itself 
throughout the whole nation as the leaven 
through the meal, permeating every form of its 
life and impressing itself upon every phase of its 
character. To this native church he confidently 
looks for the evangelization of the masses and 
the accomplishment of all that for which he has 
labored so long and so earnestly. When the mis- 
sionary can look upon such a native church with 
the feeling that it will be faithful to its Lord and 
do His work; when he can sit in its pews and 
hear soul-nourishing gospel sermons from his 



PRIVATE LIFE OF THE MISSIONARY 233 

own pupils, now grown strong in the Lord then 
indeed his cup of joy is full. The trials and sor- 
rows that were endured in connection with the 
work are all forgotten, and his only emotion is 
one of glad thanksgiving. 

In some lands many missionaries have already 
received this crown to their labors; it has been 
partially received in Japan, and if we are but 
faithful to out crust shall yet be received in all 
lands. 



XIII 

METHODS OF WO1RK" 

MISSIONARIES attempt in various ways to 
evangelize the nations to which they are sent. 
The extent and variety of the work which the 
missionary is called upon to perform are much 
greater than the people at home are apt to think. 
He must be at the same time a preacher, a teacher, 
a translator, a financier, a judge, an author, an 
editor, an architect, a musician. The great variety 
of the work necessitates a well-rounded man. 

All of these offices are, in an indirect sense, 
ways of doing mission work; but we will here 
confine ourselves to the consideration of the more 
direct and positive methods in vogue in Japan. 
These are direct evangelization, educational work, 
literary work, and medical work. 

Direct Evangelization 

By this I mean the actual propagation of the 
gospel, by word of mouth, to the people to whom 
234 



METHODS OP WOR.K 235 

we are sent I mention this first because I re- 
gard it as the most important of all methods. 
The supreme vocation of the missionary is, not to 
educate, not to heal, but to preach the gospel. 
It is well for mission boards and missionaries to 
remember this, for there is danger in many places 
of making this primary method secondary to 
education. While it is probably true that the 
evangelization of the masses will depend ulti- 
mately upon the efforts of the native ministry, this 
should not therefore be construed to mean that 
the foreign missionary has nothing to do with 
this department of the work. He should per- 
sonally engage in this evangelistic work, should 
himself come into actual contact with the unevan- 
gelized masses, and should proclaim the gospel 
directly to them. In this way only can he un- 
derstand thoroughly the nature of the work in 
which he is engaged, and be enabled to sympa- 
thize with and advise his evangelists. He should 
not only train native evangelists, but should be 
an evangelist himself, teaching his helpers, by 
earnest, zealous example as well as by precept, 
right methods of the proclamation of the gospel. 
Such work must also bear direct fruit in the con- 
version of souls ; for even in this land, in spite of 
the great nationalism and strong prejudice against 
foreigners, a foreigner will draw larger congrega- 
tions and be listened to with more attention than 



236 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

a native. And this is not simply because of curi- 
osity ; the people have more confidence in his 
ability properly to represent the foreign religion. 
For these reasons, then, viz., for the sake of the 
souls he may win, for the sake of the example he 
may set to his helpers, and for his own sake, that 
he may rightly understand and appreciate the 
work, every missionary should, as far as possible, 
be an evangelist. This is emphasized here be- 
cause in many places the evangelistic work is in 
danger of being subordinated to the educational, 
and missionaries are not lacking who take the 
strange ground that it is neither necessary nor 
profitable for the missionary personally to come 
into contact with the unevangelized masses. This 
seems to me to be a very mistaken view of the 
sphere of the foreign worker. He should not 
only train helpers, support and advise them, but 
he should also go with them among the people 
and preach to them himself. 

The direct propagation of the gospel may be 
either local or itinerating. The missionary may 
reside in one place, have a fixed chapel, and there 
teach all who come to him; or he may go on 
long tours through the country, preaching from 
town to town and from village to village. In 
general these methods are combined in Japan. 
The missionary is located in one town and to the 
work there gives most of his attention; but he 



METHODS OF WORK 237 

also at stated intervals visits the surrounding 
towns and country, doing evangelistic work 
wherever he can. 

LOCAL EVANGELISM. For obvious reasons, 
local evangelistic work yields the greatest returns. 
To it the missionary gives his constant care and 
attention, while his visits to the country are only 
periodical. Local evangelistic work in Japan is 
carried on somewhat in the following manner : 

A house, as centrally located in the town as 
possible, is rented and fitted up as a chapel. The 
only furnishings needed are a small table and 
some lamps. Japanese houses are so constructed 
that the whole wall on the street side can be re- 
moved, and people standing in the street can see 
and hear all that is going on within. In this new 
chapel, one or two evenings a week, the gospel 
will be preached. In China there is preaching 
in such chapels every day, but in Japan the peo- 
ple will not come oftener than once or twice a 
week. In all probability both the missionary and 
the native evangelist will preach the same even- 
ing, one after the other. At first very few peo- 
ple will come into the house, but numbers will 
congregate in the street and will listen to what is 
said. After the service is over an opportunity is 
given for personal conversation on religious top- 
ics. By and by a little interest is manifested, 
and some begin to come into the house. A great 



238 THE GIST OF 

deal has been gained when people will go so far 
as to come up into the Christian chapel, in plain 
view of the multitudes, and hear the sermon. 

In many cases the native evangelist lives in the 
chapel (in the same building, but occupying differ- 
ent rooms) and daily meets and talks with people 
about religion. In this way he hears of those 
who are interested, and he and the missionary 
visit such in their homes and converse privately 
with them. In my own mission, as soon as any 
are interested, they are organized into a cate- 
chetical class, which meets weekly, and are thor- 
oughly instructed in Luther's Small Catechism. 
But I find that unless this is preceded by more 
elementary instruction this excellent little manual 
will not be well understood. Real inquirers are 
glad to come and study the catechism and the 
Bible, and they study them well. Some of the 
most satisfactory work I have done in Japan has 
been along the line of catechetical instruction. 
Some of the larger missions working here have 
not been sufficiently careful about giving their 
converts sound elementary instruction in Chris- 
tian doctrine, but have left them to gather all the 
necessary knowledge from the sermons they hear 
and the instruction given in the Sunday-schools. 
One of the desiderata of most missions in Japan 
is more systematic catechetical instruction. 
Among the first things a missionary does in 



METHODS OF WORK 239 

beginning work in a town is to open a Sunday- 
school. The children are generally more acces- 
sible than the older people, and many of them 
will come to the -school. They cannot at first be 
organized into classes, as their interest is not 
sufficiently great to induce them to attend regu- 
larly and to study. The first instruction is 
usually by means of large Bible pictures that 
catch the eye and teach a religious truth. By 
and by, when the work becomes more substan- 
tial and the interest more developed, the pupils 
can be organized into classes and more systematic 
instruction given. If there are any Christians in 
connection with the chapel their children form the 
backbone of the Sunday-school. 

A considerable part of the time of the mission- 
ary doing local evangelistic work, if he is wise, 
will be occupied in house-to-house visitation. 
The Japanese are a very social people, and it is 
wonderful how a little personal kindness and in- 
terest in them will break down the prejudice 
against us and our work. As a rule, the mission- 
ary who goes into a native home with humility, 
simplicity, and love will gain the good will of the 
whole household. Men feel freer to talk about 
religious subjects in the privacy of their own 
homes. In a discourse to a promiscuous audience 
the truth is scattered broadcast, and each one 
catches what he can ; but in a private conversa- 



240 THE CIST OP JAPAN 

tion in the home the truth especially adapted to 
the hearer can be given. It is like a man trying 
to fill a bottle with water ; he will get it full much 
quicker by taking it up in his hand and pouring 
the water into it than by throwing a whole bowl- 
ful at it from a distance. 

It is a very pleasant experience to enter a 
friendly home in the evening, to sit around the 
social hibachi (fire-box), sip tea, and talk about 
the great questions of time and eternity. One is 
generally received with cordiality and made to 
feel at home. He is listened to attentively and 
respectfully, and the questions asked are intelli- 
gent, appreciative ones. If the missionary expects 
his host immediately to be convinced by his 
eloquence, to agree to all he says, to discard at 
once his old religion and embrace the new, he 
will be disappointed. But if he is content to seek 
an opportunity to present the truth under most 
favorable circumstances, leaving it to do its own 
work silently and gradually, he will be sure to 
find it. 

House-to-house visitation and personal talks 
with the people are of great importance in local 
evangelistic work. But in doing such work great 
care should be taken to comply strictly with 
Japanese etiquette and rules of propriety, and 
especially to avoid a haughty bearing. The 
ordinary native home is much smaller, simpler, 



METHODS OF WORK 241 

and frequently dirtier, than the missionary's, and 
the people are constantly watching for any rec- 
ognition of this fact on his part. He should 
carefully guard himself against any look or ex- 
pression which might imply his superiority, or 
his dissatisfaction with things around him. 

I have been both amused and pained by over- 
hearing Japanese imitate the sayings and actions 
of two visiting missionaries. According to the 
imitation, the one bears himself haughtily and 
proudly ; as soon as he comes near the door he 
instinctively draws back as though fearing bad 
odors; when he comes in he bows stiffly, seats 
himself on the best mat, carefully draws up his 
clothes as though fearing contamination, casts a 
scornful look at the bare walls, utters a few com- 
monplace sentiments, and hastily departs. The 
other one comes with a cheery greeting, a smil- 
ing countenance, and a humble demeanor. He 
never notices the lowly house and bare walls, but 
quietly and unconcernedly takes the place as- 
signed him, freely and appreciatively partakes of 
the tea and cakes set before him, and kindly and 
sympatheticalty talks with the people as one of 
them. It is very evident which one of these two 
will do the most good. 

As soon as the work grows and a small com- 
pany of believers has been gathered the duties of 
the missionary increase. There now rests upon 



242 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

him that burden which so oppressed Paul the 
care of the churches. He must look after the 
regular worship of the church, must develop in 
his people a church-going sentiment, and must 
instruct them in the observance of all Christian 
duties. In this work he will need much patience, 
wisdom, and zeal The native converts, not hav- 
ing generations of Christian ancestors as we have, 
will need oft to be exhorted, oft rebuked, and 
loved much. Christian duties that are with us 
almost habitual must be urged upon these people 
time and again. The church must be organized 
and developed into an harmonious working body. 
In all of this the missionary is fortunate if he has 
the assistance of a wise, godly native helper. 

Perhaps the most attractive and interesting 
feature of all mission work is this forming and 
molding, under one's own hand, of the theology, 
the life, and the activities of a young church. 
The one who is privileged to do this occupies a 
position of responsibility than which none could 
be greater. May God give us grace to do it 
aright. 

ITINERATING EVANGELISM. No true mis- 
sionary living in a non- Christian land will confine 
his labors to the town in which he resides. His 
heart will be constantly yearning over the people 
in the surrounding towns and country, and he 
will gladly take advantage of every opportunity 



METHODS OF WORK 243 

to make them occasional visits, telling to them 
also the old, old story. 

But there are other workers whose sole busi- 
ness it is to visit these outlying points and carry 
a knowledge of the gospel to those who cannot 
have regular gospel ministrations. Perhaps this 
feature of missionary work is the one most prom- 
inent in the minds of the people at home, who 
are fond of picturing their missionary as a man 
who goes about from town to town and from 
village to village, proclaiming the gospel to all 
who will hear. 

Christianity is by nature diffusive. It spreads 
itself as naturally as the leaven spreads in the 
meal. Confucius taught: "The philosopher 
need not go about to proclaim his doctrines; if 
he has the truth the people will come to him.** 
In striking contrast to this Christ taught : " Go 
ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to 
every creature. " We are not only to teach those 
who come to us, but we are also to go out in 
search of hearers, to carry our message to the 
people. 

When our Saviour was upon earth the work 
He did was largely itinerating ; going about from 
place to place, teaching in the synagogue, by the 
wayside, or on the sea- shore. The disciples 
were all itinerating evangelists, carrying their 
message from city to city and from laud to land, 



244 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

St. Paul was an itinerating missionary on a large 
scale. Not content to abide long in any one 
place, but looking out continually to the regions 
beyond, his life was one ceaseless activity in 
itinerating evangelism. The missionaries through 
whom northern Europe and England were con- 
verted were itinerants. And those who to-day 
in mission fields take their valises well stocked 
with tracts and sermons and go out into the coun- 
try on long evangelistic tours can feel that they 
are following in the footsteps of worthy exemplars. 

We can hardly overestimate the importance of 
this work. The word of mouth is still the most 
effective means of conveying a message to the 
masses, and a knowledge of Christian principles 
that could else hardly be given is in this way 
spread abroad throughout the land. 

The facilities for itinerating in Japan are ex- 
cellent. Most of the important points are easily 
reached by rail or water. But in general, on an 
itinerating tour, the missionary has little use for 
the steamers and railways. The points he wants 
to visit are not on the great thoroughfares, but 
are in out-of-the-way places. There is, however, 
a good system of roads, and the jinrikisha, 
which is everywhere found, is easily capable of 
carrying one 40 or 50 miles a day. This little 
cart resembles a buggy, except that it has only 
two wheels and is much smaller. The seat is 



METHODS OF WORK 245 

just large enough to accommodate one person. 
A small Japanese coolie between the shafts fur- 
nishes all the necessary motive power. These are 
very convenient and comfortable little convey- 
ances, and are the ones in ordinary use by mis- 
sionaries in their itinerating work. 

In recent years the bicycle has become popu- 
lar for this purpose. As the " wheel " has been 
made to serve almost every other interest, it is 
but fair that it should also serve the gospel. 
Perhaps to-day one half of all the male mission- 
aries in Japan ride wheels. They have decided 
advantages over the jinrikisha, chiefly in the way 
of speed, personal comfort, and pleasure. I wish 
my readers could see their representatives in 
Japan just starting on their wheels for a tour 
in the interior. Dressed in negligee shirts, caps, 
and knickerbockers, with a large bundle tied upon 
the wheel in front of each one, they present a 
comical appearance. Many sermons have been 
preached in Japan in negligee shirts and knicker- 
bockers. 

There are nice, clean little inns in all the vil- 
lages and towns, and the missionary is not put to 
such straits for a place in which to rest and sleep 
as he is sometimes in other mission fields. But 
as the food offered him is unpalatable to most 
foreigners, he carries with him a few things, such 
as bread, canned meats, and condensed milk. 



246 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

The splendid telegraph system extending over 
all Japan keeps him in communication with his 
family and friends, no matter where he may go, 
and he need not hesitate to go into the interior 
on that score. A good daily mail system is also 
at hand to carry his letters. 

Formerly the greatest hindrance to itinerating 
in Japan was the difficulty of obtaining passports 
to travel in the interior. No one was permitted 
to go outside of certain limits without a special 
passport, and such passports were only given for 
two purposes : for health, and for scientific obser- 
vation. The government did not intend by this 
restriction to prohibit mission work in the interior, 
but aimed simply to prohibit foreigners from en- 
gaging in interior trade. As the missionaries 
were not going for purposes of trade, many of 
them availed themselves of these passports; but 
there were some whose consciences would not 
permit them so to do. Several high officials 
were directly spoken to about the matter by mis- 
sionaries ; and they replied that, in the eyes of the 
law, a man could want to travel for only three 
purposes: for health, for trade, or for scientific 
observation. As this restriction was simply to 
prevent foreigners from engaging in interior 
trade, and as the missionaries were not going for 
that purpose, they were told that they should go 
on with their irork. The government knew well 



METHODS OF WORK 24:7 

the purpose for which they were going, and per- 
mitted it; hence their consciences might be at 
rest. These explanations on the part of the offi- 
cials removed the difficulty in the minds of some, 
but not of all. Fortunately, since the revision of 
the treaties, passports are granted without any 
question as to the purpose for which they are 
wanted, and all who ask it are freely given per- 
mission to travel where they will. Since this re- 
striction has been removed more itinerating is being 
done, and it is probable that it will still increase. 

The missionary does two kinds of itinerating 
in Japan: (i) he visits periodically a large num- 
ber of outstations, where are native evangelists; 
(2) he goes into regions where there are no evan- 
gelists and heralds the gospel. 

Itinerating among stations where native work- 
ers are located and regular work kept up is by 
far the most frequent. These tours are generally 
made about every two or three months, one mis- 
sionary visiting perhaps a dozen stations. The 
local evangelist makes all preparations for the 
meetings, which are generally of a special charac- 
ter. There will probably be a special preaching 
service for non-believers, and a communion ser- 
vice with the Christians. If there are any bap- 
tisms the sacrament is then administered. The 
visit of the missionary is intended to be as mucK 
a stimulus and encouragement to the evangelist 



248 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

as anything else. These men, living in out-of- 
the-way places where there are few, if any, 
Christians, are apt to get despondent and discour- 
aged, and they need occasionally the sympathy 
and advice of a fellow-worker. The missionary 
who has charge of this kind of work is a sort of 
bishop, with an extended parish. 

When fields where no regular work is carried 
on are visited the work is necessarily different. 
In this case the missionary must take his helper 
with him. He seldom goes alone, for various 
reasons. When on one of these tours he will 
spend one or two days in a village, talking 
personally with all who will come to him. Very 
likely he will rent a room in the inn in which he 
is stopping, and he and his helper will there 
preach one or two evenings. Sometimes, if the 
weather is good, he obtains permission of the 
authorities to hold the meeting in the open air, 
and preaches on the street or in the public squares. 
Wherever an audience can be gathered the mes- 
sage is told. After one or two days spent in this 
manner they move on to the next town, and 
there do as they did before, thus going their 
whole round. The most that is accomplished by 
this method of preaching is to spread abroad 
a general knowledge of Christianity among the 
people and break down their prejudice against it. 
Not many conversions result from it. 



METHODS OF WORK 249 

Some may ask what kind of sermons one 
preaches on these itinerating tours. They should 
be of the plainest, simplest character. It is 
profitable to consume a good deal of time in dis- 
proving the false ideas which prevail concerning 
Christianity, and in giving the people correct 
views of its nature. The nature of God must be 
carefully explained, both because the word we 
use for God is in Japanese applicable to an earthly 
hero as well as to a divine being, and because the 
divinities of Japan differ very much in nature 
from the Christian conception of God. One can 
preach a long time on sin before getting the 
people properly to understand it. The Japanese 
are really without any sense of sin, and have no 
word in their language to express the idea exactly. 
We use the word which means crime or offense 
against the laws of the land. Then the old story 
of Christ simply told always commands a hearing 
everywhere. 

The kind of itinerating last described is open 
to serious objection. It is uncertain and fitful. 
One visit may be made to a town each year, or 
some years not even one. No provision is made 
for carrying on the work, or for keeping alive 
any interest that may have been aroused. To 
be made very profitable such itinerating should be 
regular and systematic ; the visits should not be 
too far apart ; and as soon as some inquirers are 



250 THE GIST OF JAPAN, 

found, a native evangelist should be stationed 
there to care for them. When conducted in this 
way it is conducive of great good. 

Educational Work 

The educational department of mission work 
has in recent years been coming more and more 
into prominence. This feature of the work at- 
tracts the attention of the visitor from the home 
lands more than any other, because it makes more 
show. The imposing buildings that are erected, 
and the large number of students that can be 
gathered into them, make a favorable impres- 
sion. 

Educational work is generally more attractive 
than evangelistic. The former is regular, while 
the latter is desultory. The former is continuous, 
occupying one's time and attention every day; 
the latter is intermittent. The former can be 
pursued at home, and the missionary can enjoy 
the constant society of his family ; the latter takes 
him away from his family and occupies him 
abroad. Educational work is usually carried on 
in the open ports and large cities, where one en- 
joys all the conveniences of life, with sympathetic 
society; evangelistic work takes the missionary 
into the interior, where there are few conveniences 
and no society. Lastly, educational work is more 



METHODS OF WORK 251 

or less welcomed by the natives, while evange- 
listic work is unwelcome. 

Japan possesses a large number of mission 
schools. Their imposing buildings are seen in 
almost every city of the empire. Every mission 
of large size has its schools for both boys and 
girls. The annual support of these schools costs 
the various boards more money than all the 
evangelistic work that is done in Japan. More 
missionaries are engaged in educational than in 
evangelistic work. 

A certain amount of educational work seems 
necessary to the success of every mission. First 
in importance is theological training. A body 
of well-trained native pastors is absolutely es- 
sential. Especially in this land, where there are 
many educated people and where all forms of 
rationalism and skepticism are rife, is it necessary 
that the evangelist have a liberal education, that 
he be well rooted and grounded in Christian doc- 
trine, and able to answer the philosophical objec- 
tions to Christianity that meet him on every side. 
An educated ministry is just as necessary in 
Japan as it is in the West, and the schools that 
are providing such a ministry are doing a good 
work. 

But some of the methods used by them are 
open to criticism. Heretofore most theological 
training has been in the English language, and 



252 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

the language alone has taken up a great deal 
of the student's time and strength. And again, 
very few Japanese young men gain a sufficient 
knowledge of English to appreciate or derive full 
benefit from a theological course in that language. 
Against this is urged the paucity of Christian 
literature in Japanese, and the wide field of re- 
ligious thought which a knowledge of the English 
language opens to the student. This is very 
true ; but if the same amount of time and energy 
that has been expended in instruction in English 
had been given to the creation of a native Chris- 
tian literature the evil would not exist I am glad 
to note that recently nearly all the theological 
schools have introduced courses in the vernacular 
for those who cannot take the English course. It 
would be well if the English course were dis- 
pensed with entirely and all instruction were 
given in the vernacular. 

Many of the missions operating in Japan have 
sent worthy young men to America and England 
for theological training. In nearly every instance 
this has proved an unwise investment. The good 
people at home take up these young men and 
nurse and pet them until they are completely 
spoiled. They come back to Japan unfitted by 
taste and education for the position they must 
occupy and the work they must do. Most of 
them become dissatisfied in the work after a few 



METHODS OF WORK 253 

years. Foreign education largely denationalizes 
them and removes them from the sympathies of 
their own people. Of course there have been 
some exceptions to this rule ; but, in general, ex- 
perience has proved that locally trained evange- 
lists are best suited for the work and give most 
satisfaction in it 

By this it is not intended to imply that Japa- 
nese pastors and teachers should not have the 
advantages offered by the Western seminaries 
when they desire them and are able to obtain 
them for themselves. They are as capable of 
receiving advanced instruction as we are, and 
have the same right to it. But the money which 
foreign boards spend for training evangelists 
should be spent in the field. 

Besides the theological schools there are large 
numbers of academical schools for young men, in 
which a great deal of mission money is spent 
In justification of these it is argued that they are 
necessary for the preparatory training of evan- 
gelists. It is said that the education of these 
future pastors of the church should be Christian 
from the beginning, and this is true. But more 
than half the evangelists now laboring in Japan 
have not received such training. The education 
they received from government and private 
schools answers very well in their case. Actual 
experience has proved that, whatever may be the 



THE GIST OF JAPAN 

aim of these academies, as a matter of fact they 
do not train evangelists. Most of the men who 
take their full course enter other professions. 
One of the oldest missions in Japan, employing 
about twenty evangelists, has among them only 
one man who has taken the full academical course 
in its mission college ; but many men have been 
educated at the church's expense for other pro- 
fessions. 

Again, it is said in justification of these acade- 
mies and their large expenditure of mission money 
that a Christian education must be provided for 
the children of the constituency of the mission. 
The church provides a Christian education for her 
sons and daughters at home; why should she 
not do it for her wards abroad ? Far be it from me 
to attempt to minimize the importance of Chris- 
tian education ; but will it not be time enough 
for such education when the constituency of the 
native church feels its need to such an extent that 
it will demand this education itself, support the 
schools with its money, and send its sons and 
daughters to them ? At present even the Chris- 
tian people frequently prefer a government school 
to a mission school; and they often send their 
children to the latter, when they do send them, 
because they will there be given financial aid. 

There was a time when Christian schools did a 
good work in Japan, Before the government 



METHODS OF WORK 255 

schools were brought up to their present standard 
the mission schools were well patronized, and 
they considerably benefited the cause of missions. 
But to-day the government has schools of every 
grade, and frequently they are better than the 
mission schools. The students who formerly 
flocked to the mission schools now flock to those 
of the government, and the former have but few 
pupils. The times have changed, and these 
large, expensive schools are now hardly needed. 
In so far as they are needed for the preparatory 
training of a native ministry, and can be made to 
serve that end, they may be all right, but cer- 
tainly as an evangelizing agency they are not 
justified. The native church should be encour- 
aged and stimulated to educate its own children ; 
it might even be assisted in the attempt, when it 
has shown an honest effort to do this; but its 
children should not be educated for it by the 
mission free of charge. To spend so large an 
amount of the people's money in purely secular 
education seems to me a misappropriation of 
funds. 

More than half the mission schools in Japan 
are boarding-schools for girls. Nearly all the 
unmarried women engaged in mission work are 
in these schools, and there are many of them. 
Some of these schools have very fine locations and 
buildings, about as good as those of the average 



256 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

girls' college at home. That they are more popu- 
lar and better patronized than those for boys is 
because the government does not provide for the 
higher education of girls as it does for boys. 

The purpose of these girls' boarding-schools is 
to train up earnest Christian women, who will 
be the wives and mothers of the new Japan. It 
is said that if the mothers of the nation are made 
Christian the evangelization of the whole people 
will speedily follow. This purpose is a worthy 
one. Most of the girls who enter these mission 
schools become Christians, and the training given 
them seems to be good. I recently attended the 
closing exercises of one of the largest of these, 
and was surprised at the progress made by the 
girls. They could paint and draw, and recite 
classical music as well as the young ladies of the 
seminaries at home ; and I have no doubt that 
the graduates leave the schools pure-minded, 
earnest Christians, with worthy aims and aspira- 
tions, and with a full intention to exert their influ- 
ence for God and His church. 

But alas! when they go back to their homes 
the position Japanese etiquette assigns them so 
effectually ties their hands that the results are 
bitterly disappointing. I will mention, one case 
which came under my own observation. A 
young lady was educated by a mission school in 
a certain city, who was noted for her piety and 



METHODS OF WORK 257 

earnest Christian spirit. Her teachers had most 
extravagant hopes as to the strong positive in- 
fluence she would exert for Christianity. After 
her graduation she spent several years in the 
same school as a teacher, and her Christian life 
was broadened and deepened by longer and more 
intimate contact with the foreign teachers. She 
finally married and removed to her new home, in 
a distant city. There she attended church once 
or twice and then stopped entirely. Neither the 
urgent personal request of the native pastor nor 
the oft-repeated invitation of the Christian con- 
gregation could induce her to come any more. 
Instead of exerting an influence for good* upon 
others she herself became a fit subject for mission 
work. I have known several cases of this kind, 
and all missionaries have had the same experience. 
Social conditions in Japan are such that a girl 
marrying into a non-Christian home can exert 
little Christian influence. 

But admitting for the moment the utility of 
this Christian training for the girls, these large 
schools are open to serious objections on other 
grounds. The course is too long, and the in- 
struction given too advanced. In many of these 
schools the girls are kept for twelve or fourteen 
years. During all this time they are more or less 
supported by mission funds, even down to pin- 
money. They are taught all kinds of abstract 



258 THE GIST OP JAPAN 

sciences and advanced ideas that can be of no 
possible use to them. Latin and Greek, biology, 
geology, psychology, and many other things are 
taught them that they neither need nor can 
appreciate. Painting, drawing, vocal and instru- 
mental music form a prominent part of the cur- 
riculum. Girls are made to practise on the piano 
for ten years or more who will in all probability 
never see a piano after they leave school. Of 
course these are not the only subjects taught; 
more useful ones are taught as well. 

If mission schools for the education of girls 
should exist at all the instruction should be much 
more elementary and practical. A course of two 
or three years, teaching them how wisely to fill 
their position as wives and mothers, would amply 
suffice. 

It is claimed by the Japanese with great reason 
that these schools unfit the girls for the sphere 
they must occupy in after life. A life of ten, 
twelve, or fourteen years in constant association 
with foreign teachers, in a foreign building, with 
all necessaries and conveniences supplied, pursu- 
ing a pleasant course of study, does not fit the 
pupil for life in her humble home. No wonder 
she loves the school and dreads to see the day 
approaching when she must leave it. Having 
lived so long under much better circumstances, 
her home, with its thatched roof, narrow walls, 



METHODS OF WORK 259 

and homely duties, becomes distasteful to her. 
Of what use now are her music and painting, her 
Latin and Greek, when her time must be spent in 
boiling rice and mending old, worn-out clothes ? 
There is such a thing as educating people above 
their sphere in life, and such education is more 
hurtful than otherwise. 

But it is said, " We are training future Bible- 
women who will go out and teach the gospel to 
their country- women/* In reply to this it can 
be answered that not a great many graduates of 
girls' schools become Bible- women; and it is the 
experience of nearly every missionary that the 
best Bible-women are middle-aged women, who 
may never have been in a mission school. 

Again, it is said that it is worth while to have 
these schools if only to train educated Christian 
wives for the native evangelists. But many of 
the evangelists, even among those who themselves 
have received a more or less foreign training, 
prefer wives who have never been in a mission 
school, saying that these girls who have lived so 
long under better surroundings will not be con- 
tented and happy in the homes they can provide. 
It is also true that many of the young ladies who 
graduate from these schools object to marrying 
at all, feeling that they have been unfitted for 
the life they would have to lead. 

A very serious objection to the present edu- 



260 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

cational method in use by many missions in Japan 
is that it hinders self-support in the native 
churches. These large foreign plants, with their 
costly appliances, can never be supported by the 
native churches, and the evident futility of the 
effort so discourages them that they will not even 
do what they can. The day when the churches 
of Japan can become self-supporting is very 
much postponed by the existence of these costly 
schools. At present the native churches could 
hardly keep the school buildings in repair. 

The whole work of missions in Japan was in the 
beginning projected on too high a plane. To 
many it seems a great mistake that such large and 
costly buildings were erected and the schools 
started on a foreign basis. Should not the build- 
ings have been entirely of native architecture from 
the beginning, and the educational work projected 
on a plane corresponding to Japanese life? If 
small wooden houses, with straw roofs and no 
furniture, are good enough for these people to 
live in and to transact all kinds of business in, 
then they are good enough for them to study in 
and to worship God in. If from the very begin- 
ning the schools and churches had been built on 
a plane corresponding with ordinary Japanese 
houses and life the day would much sooner have 
come when the Japanese themselves could under- 
take their support. When, in the providence of 



METHODS OF WORK 261 

God, the native church shall have been sufficiently 
developed, materially and spiritually, to under- 
take the education of her children and the train- 
ing of her own pastors, the manner in which she 
will do it will be very different from that in which 
it is now done by the mission boards, 

I am aware that many missionaries in Japan, 
for whose opinions I have all respect, will not 
agree with these views. But, after most careful 
thought and investigation, the above are the 
conclusions to which I have arrived; and I am 
glad to know that my views are shared by many 
of my fellow-missionaries. It is my sincere 
conviction that most of the money now being 
used for educational purposes in Japan is misap- 
plied, and would yield far greater results if used 
in other ways. 

Literary Work 

One of the most important and fruitful branches 
of missionary work is the literary. The creation 
of a sound Christian literature is one of the first 
and most imperative duties pressing upon the 
missionary to the heathen. 

This is an exceedingly difficult task. When 
we think of how much labor and how many 
precious lives our own Christian literature has 
cost us, we begin to have some conception of the 
immensity of the task of creating a Christian 



262 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

literature in a heathen land. In the first place, 
the missionary must have a complete mastery of 
the language, in Japan an appalling task, and 
then he must create the terms to express so many 
ideas. Many of our Christian ideas have no 
counterpart in non- Christian lands, and the very 
words to express them must be coined. A com- 
mon device is to take words of kindred meaning 
and to make them serve the purpose, endeavoring 
to attach our own meaning to them by gradual 
processes of instruction and use. Thus with the 
words for God and sin in use by most missions in 
Japan. These words are kami and tsumi. Now 
kami is the word used for numerous mythologi- 
cal divinities, with natures very different from 
our God, and is also applied to the ancient he- 
roes of Japan. As it expresses the idea better 
than any other word we have, we use it for God ; 
but we must be careful always to explain the 
sense in which we use it. The word tsumi means 
crime, or offense against the laws of the land. 
Our idea of sin is lacking in the Japanese mind, 
and hence there is no word that exactly ex- 
presses it. We take the word tsumi as being 
nearest it, and endeavor to impart to it our own 
meaning. In this way we have not only to 
translate the ideas, but also to coin or modify 
the words to express them. 
This work of the missionary is very different 



METHODS OF WORK 263 

from that of translating English books into a 
European language which has a circle of ideas 
similar to our own, for there the words are found 
ready-made to express the ideas. 

Generally the first literary work to be done by 
missionaries is the translation and publication of 
portions of Scripture and of tracts. As soon as 
their knowledge of the language is sufficiently 
advanced, they translate the whole Bible and 
some good hymns. Then follow apologetical 
and evidential works, and treatises on theology 
and morality. Afterward biographical and de- 
votional books, magazines, and Christian news- 
papers are published. We cannot overestimate 
the value of a good Christian newspaper. It 
will carry gospel truth to people whom the mis- 
sionary and the native evangelist cannot reach, 
and it will help much to nourish and strengthen 
the life of the native converts. In such a paper 
the latter will probably see their religion set forth 
in all its relations to the questions of practical 
life in a way they seldom hear it done in sermons. 
I think parish papers, which are becoming so 
common at home, would also exert a splendid 
influence in Japan. 

In this field a considerable Christian literature 
has already been created. Among the most 
important books translated so far might be men- 
tioned the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, 



264 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

Luther's Small Catechism, the Heidelberg Cate- 
chism, Banyan's " Pilgrim's Progress/' A con- 
siderable number of books on apologetical, evi- 
dential, dogmatic, and historical theology have 
been published, besides biographical, ethical, and 
devotional books. There are also several Chris- 
tian newspapers, and recently the missionaries of 
the American Board have begun the publication 
of a Christian magazine. 

A Christian literature which will be a powerful 
auxiliary to our work is at present forming 
rapidly in Japan. 

Medical Work 

Medical work is one of the youngest depart- 
ments of missionary labor. Christ healed the 
body as well as the soul, and It is peculiarly fit- 
ting that the missionary be able to heal the body 
likewise. Medical missions have done more in 
some countries toward breaking down the preju- 
dice against Christianity than any other one thing. 
Doors effectually closed to the evangelist have 
been opened wide to the doctor. The power for 
good of a consecrated physician in many mission 
fields is boundless. The mission boards have 
fully recognized this fact, and have wisely used 
large numbers of medical missionaries. 

In former times medical missionaries accom- 
plished much good in Japan. They helped greatly 



METHODS OF WORK 265 

to break down the prejudice and opposition to 
Christianity. Many who came to the hospitals 
to have their bodies healed went away having 
their ears filled with words from the great Phy- 
sician, and their hearts moved by the kindness 
and love of these Christian doctors. Not only 
was much direct mission work accomplished in 
this way, but the principles of physiology and 
medicine were also taught to large numbers of 
native physicians and students. Among the men 
who did most in this work were Drs. Hepburn, 
Berry, and Taylor. 

Although they have accomplished much good, 
medical missions are no longer needed in Japan. 
The Japanese themselves have become adepts in 
medical science, and especially in surgery. Every 
town and city has one or more hospitals where 
competent medical consultation and treatment 
can be had, and these now occupy the position 
formerly filled only partially by the mission hos- 
pitals. A few hospitals and dispensaries are still 
kept in operation by some missions, but most of 
them were years ago dispensed with as no longer 
profitable. We rejoice that Japan has so far pro- 
gressed as to be well able to care for the health 
of her own people, and we adapt ourselves to the 
changed circumstances, diverting into more fruit- 
ful channels the energies formerly expended in 
this way. 



XIV 

HINDRANCES 

MANY of the hindrances that oppose the pro- 
gress of Christianity in Japan have already been 
indirectly suggested in other portions of this 
book. But that they may be more clearly ap- 
prehended by the friends of missions at home, 
and that the effect of their militating influence 
may be fully felt, we will endeavor in this chap- 
ter to arrange them in order and show just how 
they oppose our work. For the sake of clearness 
and logical order we will consider the subject 
under two divisions: I. Hindrances in Japan 
common to all mission fields; 2. Hindrances 
peculiar to Japan. 

I. There are certain things inherent in the very 
nature of Christianity that impede her progress. 
They are necessities of her being, and cannot be 
gotten rid of. These things may be either a part 
of Christianity herself, belonging to her nature, 



HINDRANCES 267 

or they may be necessary results of her accep- 
tance by non- Christian peoples. For this reason 
they are encountered wherever the gospel is 
propagated ; they are common hindrances to the 
advance of our faith alike in China, India, Africa, 
and Japan. 

Although not peculiar to Japan, it seems to 
me wise briefly to refer to these universal hin- 
drances, because often they are not realized in 
their full force and power either by the people of 
our home churches or even by our pastors. To 
appreciate fully their militating influence one 
must go to the mission field, and there observe 
them actually hindering the rapid progress of 
evangelization. There they are seen in a new 
light, and are impressed upon the mind as they 
can hardly be otherwise. If I can succeed in 
causing the constituency of the churches at home 
to realize the number, magnitude, and power of 
these hindrances I will have done good service 
for the cause of missions. 

As the first one of these universal militating 
influences, inherent in the very nature of missions, 
opposing the progress of Christianity wherever 
its teachings are newly propagated, I would men- 
tion its revolutionizing tendency. Christian mis- 
sions are in their nature revolutionizing. The 
result is inevitable and unavoidable. The ad- 
vance of Christianity in a heathen land necessi- 



268 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

tales the revolutionizing of many institutions that 
have obtained for centuries. Not only must the 
religious ideas undergo a revolution, but all moral 
ideas, and manners and customs as well. The 
reasons for this are very evident. 

Religion is intimately connected with the life 
of man. It furnishes the motive power of his life, 
controls his actions, creates his morality, deter- 
mines his manners and customs, and shapes his 
laws. The ethnic religions are just as intimately 
interwoven with the lives of their adherents as 
Christianity is with the lives of Christians; and 
Buddhism, Confucianism, and Brahmanism have 
shaped and determined the lives and actions of 
their adherents. 

The connection between religion and morality 
is a necessary and indissoluble one. The two 
are united in their growth and development, and 
the form of morality is necessarily colored by the 
dominant religion. Wherever the Buddhist faith 
has been accepted there has sprung up a system 
of morality peculiar to it; so that we speak of a 
Buddhistic in opposition to a Christian morality. 
This morality is dependent upon the religion, and 
a change of religion must bring about a change 
of morality. 

Christianity, having necessarily developed a 
morality in accord with its principles, must, as it 
advances, destroy the existing systems and create 



HINDRANCES 269 

widely different ones. While the better element 
in heathen nations has more or less outgrown its 
religious ideas and superstitions, and can calmly 
contemplate a change of religion, yet its moral 
system has a stronger hold, and anything which 
antagonizes it is severely condemned. This 
necessary revolutionizing of moral ideas very 
much opposes the progress of Christianity. 

The acceptance of Christianity necessitates also 
a revolution in manners and customs. These are 
partially an expression of the faith that is in us, 
their nature being determined by it. A change 
of religion, therefore, means a change in all of 
these. 

People have great respect for time-honored 
customs, and that which antagonizes these brings 
upon itself condemnation. Christianity changes 
the manners and customs, and therefore the peo- 
ple do all they can to oppose it. 

In these ways the work of missions is revolu- 
tionizing, and must expect to encounter the op- 
position of the spirit of conservatism, which is 
much stronger in the East than in the West 

A second principle inherent in the very nature 
of Christianity which hinders its progress in 
heathen lands is its exclusiveness. Our religion 
is among the most intolerant in its attitude toward 
other faiths. We believe and teach that " there 
is none other name under heaven given among 



270 THE GIST OP JAPAN 

men, whereby we must be saved/ 1 than the name 
of Christ. While acknowledging that other re- 
ligions contain grains of truth, we must affirm 
that, as religious systems, they are false. Christ 
sent forth His apostles to make disciples of all, 
winning them to the Christian faith. And the 
aim of the church to-day is, not to cultivate 
brotherly love and communion with other re- 
ligions, but rather to exterminate them and make 
Christians of all. She can brook no rival. Her 
adherents must give their allegiance to her alone. 

Christianity not only claims to be the only re- 
ligion, but she can offer no hope to those outside 
of her pale. While the Bible does not demand 
that I teach the Japanese that their ancestors are 
surely lost, it certainly gives me no ground for 
assuring them of their salvation. We all revere 
our forefathers, but none so much as the Oriental. 
He pays periodical visits to the tombs of his an- 
cestors ; he worships his father and commemorates 
the day of his death by mourning. A heaven 
from which his ancestors are excluded has little 
attractions for him. Often does the Shintoist say, 
" I would rather be in hell with my ancestors than 
in heaven without them." 

If Christianity could be less exclusive and more 
tolerant of other faiths she would find a much 
more ready acceptance at the hands of non- Chris- 
tian peoples. But she cannot be so and be true 



HINDRANCES 271 

to her own nature and mission. In ancient Rome, 
when the church was called to pass through fire, 
the manifestation of a more tolerant spirit would 
have saved her from that awful persecution. The 
Romans had many gods and did not object to one 
more. They adopted those of all the conquered 
peoples, and were ready to adopt the Christians', 
and erect an altar to Him, if the Christians would 
acknowledge Him as simply one among the other 
gods. And from that day to this the exclusive 
claims of Christianity have brought upon her trials 
and persecutions, and have hindered her progress 
throughout the earth. Especially is this religious 
exclusiveness unpopular in Japan, because there 
the native religions are very tolerant of one an- 
other. 

These are some of the strongest hindrances to 
the rapid progress of Christianity in pagan lands. 
They belong to the very nature of our faith, and 
cannot be avoided. Their antagonizing influence 
is encountered wherever the gospel is preached. 

2. But I think that the greatest hindrances to 
mission work in Japan to-day are those which 
are peculiar to this field. Many circumstances 
conspire to make Japan stand alone among mission 
fields. She has been pronounced at once the 
most promising and the most difficult of all fields 
for evangelistic work : the most promising because 
of the life, force, and ability of her people; the 



272 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

most difficult because of the host of peculiar hin- 
drances under which the evangelist must labor 
there. I will proceed to point out some of these. 

(i) Perhaps the most potent at present is the 
extreme nationalistic feeling, which has brought 
into disrepute everything of foreign origin. The 
Christian religion, being a foreign institution, is 
therefore unpopular, and is thought to be less 
adapted to the people and less liable to nourish a 
strong national feeling than the native Shinto. 

It is hard for us to realize the fanatical intensity 
of their patriotism. Having been taught for so 
many centuries that this is the first virtue, the 
people have exalted it above everything else. 
" Japan first, forever, and always," is the univer- 
sal motto. There is hardly a man, woman, or 
child in the empire to-day who would not be per- 
fectly willing to lay down his life for the good of 
the country. 

This extreme patriotism operates in several 
ways to hinder the progress of Christianity. It 
prevents the ready acceptance of the new religion. 
There are a great many so ignorant and inconsis- 
tent as to hate Christianity just because it is of 
foreign origin, thinking that nothing good can 
originate outside of Japan. Such people adhere 
to the native religion, in spite of its inferiority, 
simply because they think that to do so is patri- 
otic. But there is a much larger and more influ- 



HINDRANCES 273 

ential class that is led to antagonize Christianity 
from patriotic motives other than this. They 
hold that a belief in the native religions is neces- 
sary to preserve their darling patriotic spirit, and 
that the adoption of any foreign religion would 
gradually destroy all patriotism and loyalty. 
Christianity is not national, but cosmopolitan. 
It teaches the Fatherhood of God and the 
brotherhood of man, both of which great ideas 
are repugnant to most Japanese, because they do 
not harmonize with their ideas of the divine ori- 
gin of the imperial family, and their national 
superiority to the other races of the world. They 
want a religion which exalts Japan above every- 
thing and inculcates patriotism and loyalty to 
her alone. 

But the most hurtful influence of this extreme 
nationalism is felt within the pale of the church 
herself. Actuated by it, many of the native 
Christians, both clerical and lay, want to do away 
with everything foreign in connection with the 
churches. The more strictly national they can 
make their work the better satisfied are they. 
Not only do they antagonize the missionary and 
try to push him off the field, but they also antag- 
onize foreign theology, and want to build up a 
native system with no foreign taint The result 
is great friction between the native and foreign 
workers, strained relations, and in many instances 



THE GIST OF JAPAN 

open antagonism. This want of cordiality and 
harmony, for which the national feeling is largely 
responsible, is very hurtful to the best interests of 
our work. 

But the desire for a purely native theology, 
which this strong, benighted patriotism begets, is 
even more hurtful than its sowing seeds of dis- 
cord among the workers. Many of the leading 
native ministers and laymen say that it is folly 
for their churches to perpetuate the theological 
divisions and creeds of the West, and they pro- 
pose to develop a theology peculiarly their own. 
Now Christianity cannot be kept pure and sound 
without paying due regard to its historical devel- 
opment ; and the Japanese, in cutting loose from 
this, have already run into heresy. The danger 
is that a Christianity may be developed which is 
lacking in all that is distinctively Christian, and 
which will be harder to overcome than the old 
heathenism. 

(2) Another hindrance which has operated with 
great power throughout the whole history of 
Protestant missions in Japan is the past record of 
Christianity. In a former chapter upon the 
"First Introduction of Christianity" I have told 
how Christianity was first introduced, how it grew 
to magnificent proportions, and how finally it 
was crushed by the secular arm. The fact that 
the government once felt constrained to extirpate 



HINDRANCES 275 

Christianity, at whatever cost, and especially the 
fact that the Christians dared oppose the govern- 
ment, have brought our religion into disrepute. 
Since, according to native morality, whatever 
government does is right and whatever govern- 
ment opposes is wrong, the mere fact of this op- 
position on the part of the government is enough 
to condemn Christianity in the eyes of many. 
Then the fact that the Christians at last rebelled 
gives color to the idea already formed that Chris- 
tianity is disloyal to Japan. That idea prevails 
widely, and in many quarters Christians are re- 
garded with suspicion. 

A memory of the past bitter persecutions and 
of the hated rebellion still lingers. The old peo- 
ple talk of them around the hibachi, as they sip 
their tea and smoke their pipes ; the young read 
of them in the histories, and thus their memory 
is kept alive. Many are still living who saw and 
read the rigid prohibitions of Christianity on the 
sign-boards over all the country, and they cannot 
forget them. There are not a few people in the 
empire who to this day have hardly learned that 
the changed attitude of the government toward 
Christianity is more than outward ; and these still 
regard the foreign faith as the chief of all evils. 
It is really pathetic sometimes to hear them talk 
of it. There was an old man living near a Chris- 
tian chapel not far from here, who one day was 



276 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

complaining of his woes and wishing to die. He 
said it had been a bad year, and none of his crops 
had done well, two of his children had died, his 
country had been insulted by a foreign power, 
and, to cap the climax, Christianity had come 
and taken up its abode next door to him. This 
last evil was too much, and he wanted to die. 
He still regarded our faith as the worst of evils. 
I once gave a few tracts to some old men in a 
mountain village near Saga, and they remarked 
that they remembered the time when it would 
have meant certain death to be seen with one of 
those little books. 

(3) The character of the edtication prevalent in 
Japan to-day is also antagonistic to Christianity. 
The Japanese are a studious race and are capable 
of high mental development. The country is so 
well supplied with schools nearly all of them 
government institutions that no one is too poor 
to receive some education. There is, on the part 
of the school authorities, no open antagonism to 
Christianity as such. According to the regula- 
tions, no one religion is to be favored more than 
another in the schools, and complete religious 
liberty is to be allowed. But the general tenor 
of the education given is unchristian an exalta- 
tion of reason above faith, of science atjove reli- 
gion. Especially is the tendency of the higher 
education against any form of religion. The 



HINDRANCES 277 

educators of Japan are training a nation of atheists 
and agnostics. The scientific schools of the West 
that have no room for religion are studied ear- 
nestly and copied by educated Japan. In philos- 
ophy Herbert Spencer and his school have been 
acknowledged masters. Indeed, it never seems 
to have occurred to the minds of thinking Japa- 
nese that there are systems of philosophy other 
than the materialistic. All religious sentiment is 
crushed in the schools, other things being substi- 
tuted. Science, learning, is thought to be all that 
is necessary, and religion is left for old women 
and children. Men who still believe in religion 
are thought superstitious and uneducated, and are 
regarded with a sort of lordly contempt. In a 
conversation some time ago with a graduate of 
the Imperial University I was dogmatically told 
that Christianity was acknowledged to be absurd 
by all thinking men everywhere, that all religions 
are only for the infancy of the race, and that full- 
grown men can dispense with them. This man's 
views are the usual product of the higher educa- 
tion of Japan to-day. Hence it happens that few 
students of the higher schools are Christian, and 
frequently men go there with Christian senti- 
ments, only to lose them before they leave. 

(4) The old religions of Japan strongly oppose 
the march of Christianity. Men often speak as 
though the old heathen faiths had lost their power 



278 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

and were no longer really believed. Their power 
is on the wane, but they lack much of being dead. 
They still possess enough vitality strongly to op- 
pose the evangelization of this land. The old 
Shinto faith, having the decided advantage of 
national origin, and fitting in exactly with Japa- 
nese ideas of their relative national importance and 
the nature of their emperor, is a strong opposing 
influence. Buddhism still possesses a strong hold 
upon the masses of the people. It has the rec- 
ommendation of age, has played a prominent 
part in the national history, and is dear to the 
hearts of the people. It occupies a decided van- 
tage-ground from which it opposes us and our 
work. To some in the West it seems almost in- 
ciedible that these people should really believe 
and trust in these faiths. And yet be assured 
that they do believe and trust in them. There 
are about the same sincerity, the same confidence, 
and the same faith placed in Buddhism by its 
adherents as are placed in Christianity by its. 
The religious cravings and instincts of the people 
are, on the whole, satisfied by their native reli- 
gions. 

The opposition of Buddhism to Christianity 
does not consist solely in misrepresentation, nor 
is it founded on ignorance, but is an intelligent 
opposition. Some of the Buddhist priests study 
carefully our language for the purpose of reading 



HI FRANCES 279 

our theology and informing themselves as to our 
faith. It is said that one of the very best collec- 
tions of books of Christian evidences and apolo- 
getics to be found in all Japan is in the Buddhist 
library in Kyoto. Buddhism has learned some 
useful lessons from Christianity. She is now 
learning the value of stated preaching for the 
information of her people in Buddhist doctrine, 
and the value of organized, systematic effort. A 
Young Men's Buddhist Association has been 
formed, after the model of the Young Men's 
Christian Association, which is doing much to- 
ward holding the young men to the Buddhist 
faith. Buddhism is on the alert, is quick and 
active, antagonizes us at every turn, and is one 
of the very strongest hindrances to the progress 
of Christianity. 

(5) The social ostracism visited upon those who 
become Christians very much hinders our pro- 
gress. Most of our converts, unless their relatives 
and friends are Christians, are ostracized; in many 
cases they are entirely cut off from their families 
and are disinherited. In America, when one be- 
comes a Christian, he has the encouragement and 
sympathy of all good people, and his family and 
friends rejoice with him. In Japan for a member 
of a family to become a Christian is considered a 
disgrace, and the united influence of family and 
friends is powerfully exerted to prevent such a 



280 THE GIST OF JAPAN \ 

calamity. Influential men in our city have told 
me that perhaps the greatest hindrance to my 
work is that by becoming a Christian a man shuts 
himself off from his family and friends. I am 
convinced that many would take a stand for 
Christ much more readily if the home influence 
were not so antagonistic. A student in the 
Normal School of our city, who came to me for 
many months to study Christianity, told me that 
his family bitterly hated the Christian religion, 
and that he could not return home if he became 
a believer. In spite of this he was led by the 
Spirit to ask for baptism, and I baptized him. 
Afterward he wrote very dutiful letters to his 
home, trying to explain that he felt impelled by 
duty to take this step, and that Christianity was 
not so heinous a thing as they supposed ; but no 
answers came. In course of time, being com- 
pelled to return to his own town on business, he 
went to his home to spend the night; but his 
mother and brothers would not recognize him, 
and he had to go away to a hotel. His father 
was dead, and his mother tried to disinherit him, 
but was by the law prevented. His family and 
friends have never forgiven him, and now he 
never sees them. Similar cases could be cited 
without number proving the same thing. Is it 
not natural, then, for a man to hesitate to take 
this step ? 



HINDRANCES 281 

(6) Another obstacle to the progress of mis- 
sions in Japan is that the church is too much 
divided. Almost every small religious body 
known has felt it incumbent upon itself to under- 
take work here. It may be true that denomina- 
tions working separately are no hindrance to the 
cause of Christ in the home field, but I think they 
are surely a hindrance in the foreign work. It is 
a fine rhetorical figure to liken the various de- 
nominations and sects to different divisions of one 
vast army, all engaged under the same general, 
in the same work ; but the figure does not repre- 
sent the facts. We do not have one vast Chris- 
tian army, each division occupying only its own 
field, directed by one mind, and moving in unison. 
The most optimistic cannot so regard the different 
denominations and sects of Christendom. Like 
other oft-used figures, this one is entirely at vari- 
ance with the facts. Oftener is it true that these 
sects oppose one another, and much prefer their 
own welfare to that of the whole body of Christ. 

You cannot satisfactorily explain to non- Chris- 
tian people the reasons why you must have a 
Lutheran, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, and a 
Baptist church ; and if they could be brought to 
understand our differences this would in no way 
recommend us or our creed to them. It is a 
great pity that each mission field is not allotted 
to some one denomination and left alone by all 



282 THE GIST OF 1APAN 

the others. If this cannot be, at least only one 
body should work in one town. Then these com- 
plications would be partially avoided, and Chris- 
tianity would more recommend itself to the 
thoughtful citizen. 

We suffer in Japan more from a superfluity of 
sects than of denominations. The Universalists 
and Unitarians are here with their heresies, and 
are poisoning many minds. Many other bodies 
are here, antagonizing the established order of 
things and teaching religious anarchy. I sup- 
pose there is no mission field in the world that 
has a larger number of sects and divisions. 

But the regular orthodox denominations work 
more harmoniously in Japan than in the home 
lands. Strifes and jealousies between them are 
rare, while expressions of mutual appreciation and 
of Christian courtesy are common. 

(7) I think ft& foreign communities in the open 
ports of Japan 'are a hindrance to the work of 
evangelization. In the seven treaty ports there 
are regular concessions for foreign residence and 
trade, and thousands of foreigners live in them. 
These communities are largely composed of mer- 
chants and of those connected with the various 
consulates, most of whom have come here for 
purposes of gain, and are interested in nothing 
besides money-getting. A large per cent, of this 
population is very undesirable. As representa* 



HINDRANCES $83 

tives of Western civilization (the product of Chris- 
tianity) the foreign settlements should be model 
Christian communities, and were they such they 
could exert a powerful influence for good. But 
as it is, their example does not recommend itself 
to the Japanese. 

To say nothing whatever of the charges of im- 
morality and dissoluteness preferred against these 
men, they are certainly not Christians. One 
would think, to observe them, that they had not 
come from Christian lands at all. Many who are 
here only temporarily, being away from all home 
influences and restraints, set a most ungodly ex- 
ample. They will not attend church ; they take 
no interest in religious work; they speak dis- 
paragingly of religion in general, and of the 
Christian religion in particular; and to them a 
missionary is an eyesore. While we are laboring 
to Christianize the people, our own countrymen, 
the representatives of Christian lands and the 
exponents of a Christian civilization, are in the 
foreign ports setting a most ungodly example. 
The natives are quick to notice these things, and 
they reason that, if our faith is as good as we 
represent it to be, why have our countrymen not 
profited better by it? The presence of these 
antichristian representatives of Christendom is a 
great hindrance. 

But not all of the foreigners in the open ports 



284 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

of Japan are of this character. There are some 
good Christian men and women among the busi- 
ness classes, who are interested in all kinds of 
Christian work. And yet the prevailing tendency 
of the foreign business communities is against 
Christian work. 

(8) The last but not the least hindrance I will 
mention is the language. It has been said of 
both Chinese and Japanese that they were in- 
vented by the devil to keep Christian missionaries 
from speaking freely with the natives. Whether 
that be true or not, it certainly is true that Japa- 
nese is one of the most difficult languages on the 
globe. To know it well, three different languages 
must be acquired: spoken Japanese, written 
Japanese, and Chinese. The colloquial and the 
book language are quite different, the literary 
being partly Chinese. The latter is written by 
ideographs, and you must have a sign for each 
idea. About five thousand of these characters 
will enable one to get along, although there are 
probably fifty thousand in all. By a sheer act of 
memory to learn five thousand hideous characters 
is no little task. The colloquial itself is exceed- 
ingly difficult to use aright My readers may be 
surprised to learn that of the missionaries labor- 
ing in Japan one third cannot speak the language 
intelligibly to the natives. It seems that many 
Occidentals, laboring never so hard, really cannot 



HINDRANCES 285 

acquire the language. One never feels sure in 
this language that he is saying just what he wants 
to say. If it were less difficult, so that mission- 
aries could acquire complete command of it and 
use it as readily as they do their mother tongue, 
the work of evangelization would go on more 
rapidly. 

These, as I understand them, are the principal 
things which at present hinder the progress of 
Christianity in Japan. Some of them are inherent 
in the very nature of the work, and will be en- 
countered to the end. Others, I believe, are 
transient, and will by and by pass away. 



XV 

SPECIAL PROBLEMS 

IN the broad sphere of labor which the mis- 
sionary must fill he daily meets most difficult 
problems, whose solution requires the exercise of 
consummate judgment, skill, and patience. Al- 
though these problems are not given a prominent 
place in mission reports, and are not therefore 
very well known at home, they loom up moun- 
tain-high before every missionary* They have a 
practical importance in the field surpassed by 
none other. Men differ so widely in regard to 
their solution that they not infrequently work 
division in a mission. 

A brief presentation of some of these problems 
will enable the home churches better to under- 
stand our work and to sympathize with us, and 
will be of practical worth to those who contem- 
plate coming to work in this field. 

The first problem to meet the missionary is, 
how to deal with inquirers. 
286 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 287 

In Japan not one in three at first comes with 
sincere motives and good intentions. Oa the 
contrary, he comes seeking some material advan- 
tage, hoping in some way to profit by his associa- 
tion with the missionary, or vaguely expecting 
to be benefited by an alliance with what appears 
to be a stronger and more living cause* Those 
who from the first are impelled to come by real 
spiritual motives are indeed rare. How to deal 
with such inquirers is the question, TC turn 
them away would be to send them bacw into 
heathenism. Manifestly we must hold ^hem 
until they have more spiritual motives. 

I suppose all missionaries would agree that, 
no matter how material and selfish their motives, 
inquirers should be encouraged to continue com- 
ing, with the hope of gradually leading them 
into the truth. We could hardly expect them at 
first to have pure motives, as such are practically 
unknown to them. Heathenism, with its de- 
grading idolatries and immoralities, does not 
beget these, and we cannot expect to discover 
them until the old religions have been discarded 
and the inquirers have been brought under the 
instruction and care of the church. Therefore, 
whatever the motive, we should receive them, 
and after a long period of Christian teaching and 
discipline look for a change of heart. But the 
length of this probation before they are received 



288 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

into the church, and whether it shall be required 
those are matters upon which the practice of 
missions differs widely. Some have a prescribed 
time which must elapse before candidates are 
admitted to membership; others leave it to the 
judgment of the local evangelist or missionary. 
The latter seems the better plan. 

Another question is, Just how much shall candi- 
dates for clwwch-meiu'bership be required to give 
up? As to strictly heathen practices, such as 
idolatry and gross immorality, there can be no 
question. But what of practices about which 
the judgment of men differs? Some missions 
require total abstinence from all intoxicating 
drinks. Some, like the Methodist, require ab- 
stinence from the use of tobacco, especially on 
the part of pastors and evangelists. These 
churches urge in favor of their position the com- 
parative ease with which such restrictions may 
be applied in the young churches of Japan. 
Shall we follow the lead of these more conser- 
vative churches, or shall we adopt a more liberal 
policy? Shall we require converts who are en- 
gaged in any way in the manufacture or sale of 
tobacco or liquor to change their business ? The 
practice of our own mission (the Lutheran) is, 
except in the manufacture, sale, or inordinate use 
of intoxicants, to allow liberty of conscience. 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 289 

Another and a very perplexing problem we 
find to be, what to do with honest inquirers who 
have no means of support. This class is numer- 
ous. There are a great many poor in Japan in 
fact, nearly all are poor. As Japanese custom 
even more in ancient times than at present 
made the poorer classes look to the rich for their 
maintenance and support, many converts look to 
the missionary, not to support them outright, but 
to help them into positions where they can earn 
a living. Not a few have their means of support 
cut off by the very act of becoming Christians. 
In such cases it seems but fair that the mission 
should do what it can to assist them. But how? 
To support them is too expensive, besides being 
demoralizing to them and the community. In 
some mission fields industrial schools, mission 
farms, and various other enterprises are estab- 
lished to provide employment for such, and in 
this way they are helped to support themselves. 
But in a country like Japan, where industrial and 
commercial life is highly organized and developed, 
it is almost impossible for the missions to do such 
work. We have neither the means nor the skill 
to compete with the industries around us. This 
question of support for the poor of the churches 
is a pressing one, and causes the missionary much 
anxiety and thought. The native church can do 



290 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

much more toward its solution than the mission- 
ary, and as the church grows in influence and 
resources the problem may solve itself, 

After a body of converts has been gathered, 
and the time has come for organizing a church, 
the greatest problem of all arises the problem of 
the native church. 

This is not one problem, but is rather a com- 
bination of problems, some of which are the 
following : What shall be the form of its organi- 
zation? How shall its ministry be supplied? 
How shall it be supported? What is the relation 
of the missionary to the native church? What 
shall be its attitude toward national customs? 
These are important and difficult problems, and 
on their right solution will depend in no small 
measure the prosperity and success of the native 
church. 

Some missions do not seem thoroughly to 
grasp and give due prominence to this idea of the 
native church. They interpret their commission 
to mean the evangelization of the masses rather 
than the building up of a strong native church. 
But the Christianization of any land will ulti- 
mately depend upon the native church, and not 
upon the foreign missionary. Therefore the first 
and chief aim of the missionary should be to call 
out and develop a strong, self-supporting, and self- 
propagating native church, in whose hands the 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 291 

evangelization of the masses of the people can 
ultimately be left. 

In the organization of the native church, what 
polity shall be given it? Shall it be organized 
exactly as the home church which the mission 
represents, or shall it be free to develop its own 
form of organization? Both of these plans are 
unsatisfactory. Most churches are agreed that 
no special form of church polity has divine sanc- 
tion, this being merely a question of expediency ; 
and that therefore the new churches should, as 
far as possible, be left free to adopt a constitution 
in harmony with the national character and 
habits. 

At the same time, forms of church government 
that have been tried at home and approved should 
not be ignored. What has stood the test of time, 
and proved its worth in many lands, doubtless 
will in its main features be of substantial value in 
the mission field. It is but natural that Presby- 
terian societies should organize native churches 
under their own form of government, Methodist 
under theirs, and Episcopal under theirs. But, 
in the very nature of the case, a first organization 
will only be tentative. As the church develops 
it will probably develop a polity of its own. In 
view of this, the polity imposed upon the native 
church by the mission at its first organization 
should be as flexible as possible. 



292 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

It would be folly for the Lutheran Church, for 
instance, which has one polity in Germany, an- 
other in Sweden, another in Iceland, and still 
another in America, to attempt permanently to 
impose any one of those special forms upon the 
Japanese Lutheran Church ; it will have its own 
special polity, but this should not cause us 
any anxiety or concern. If the faith and life of 
the church are right, it matters but little about 
its polity. We should be more concerned for the 
broader interests of the kingdom than for the 
perpetuation of our special form of the church, 
for the promise of final triumph is only to the 
kingdom. 

Experience has settled certain points in regard 
to the native church, which Dr. Lawrence, in 
his admirable book on " Modern Missions in 
the East," denominates " axioms of missions." 
My own experience and judgment lead me to 
give them my hearty indorsement. Three are 
named : 

1. " The native church in each country should 
be organized as a distinct church, ecclesiastically 
independent of the church in any other country." 

2. "The pastorate of the native church should 
be a native pastorate. Whatever else the mis- 
sionary is, he should not be pastor." 

3. "The principles of self-control, self-help, 
and self -extension should be recognized in the 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 293 

very organization of the church. To postpone 
them to days of strength is to postpone both 
strength and blessing." 

The question of self-support and independence 
is one of the gravest in connection with the na- 
tive church. All are agreed as to its desirable- 
ness, and all aim ultimately to attain it ; but the 
success hitherto attained in Japan is not what 
might be expected. There are perhaps a larger 
number of self-supporting churches in Japan than 
in most mission fields, but not so many as there 
should be. The native churches, as a rule, do 
not contribute what they should or could toward 
their own support In this regard the statistics 
usually given are very deceptive. Many of those 
churches put down as self-supporting either are 
so largely through the private contributions of 
the missionaries of the station, or are churches in 
connection with mission schools, where the ex- 
pense is small because one of the professors, who 
draws a salary from the board, acts as pastor. I 
have heard of one church marked " self-support- 
ing " that was composed of only one man and 
his family. This man was the evangelist, who, 
having some private means, supported himself. 

While the annual statistics show fairly good 
contributions " by the native churches/' it should 
be borne in mind that the contributions of a large 
body of missionaries, who are liberal givers, are 



294 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

included, At most stations they give more than 
the whole native church combined, 

Native Christians do not contribute as much 
toward the support of the gospel as they formerly 
did toward the support of their false religions. 
The reasons for this are, first, that heathenism 
induced larger gifts by teaching that every one 
who makes a contribution for religious purposes 
is thereby heaping up merit for himself in the life 
to come. And, second, that the native churches 
have from the beginning leaned on the mission- 
aries and societies, until independent giving and 
self-sacrifice have been discouraged. The mis- 
sion board is looked upon as an institution of 
limitless resources, whose business it is to pro- 
vide money for the work. And, third, that in 
many instances the native evangelists do not 
heartily second the efforts of the missionaries 
to bring the churches to a self-supporting basis. 
They would much rather draw their salaries from 
the mission treasurer than from the members 
of their churches. The reasons for this are 
obvious: they could not conscientiously urge 
their flocks to support them on a better scale 
than they themselves live, but they can ask the 
mission to do this; again, when their salaries 
come from the mission they are prompt and sure, 
while if they come from the churches they are 
irregular and uncertain. But in justice to Japa- 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 295 

nese pastors it should be said that, while the 
above is true of many of them, there are others 
who have willingly made personal sacrifices, living 
on much smaller salaries than formerly, in order 
to assist their churches to self-support 

How to overcome all these obstacles and de- 
velop a liberal, self-supporting spirit in the native 
church is a difficult problem with which the 
mission boards are at present grappling. The 
Congregational Church has more nearly solved it 
than any other, yet its number of independent 
churches fell off considerably during the past 
year. 

The native church must not be judged too 
harshly for its failure in self-support. It has not 
yet been educated in giving as the home churches 
have, and its resources are very limited. Most 
of its members are exceedingly poor and have all 
they can do to provide for the support of them- 
selves and families. Our proper attitude toward 
them in this matter is one of patience, sympathy, 
and help. 

How shall the native church be provided with 
a competent ministry? This is a perplexing 
question to the churches in the home lands ; how 
much more so in a mission field! It is neces- 
sary to provide pastors, evangelists, catechists, 
teachers, Bible-women, etc. a whole army of 
workers. 



296 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

The first question in this connection is, How 
is the material to be provided? Shall bright, 
active boys who seem adapted to the work be 
selected out of the mission schools and especially 
trained for this work at the expense of the mis- 
sion, without waiting for a divine call? This is 
the usual method, but it is far from satisfactory. 
Such, not having sought the ministerial office, do 
not feel its dignity and responsibility as much as 
those who are brought into it by a personal call 
Some of the brightest and most promising, after 
having been educated at the expense of the mis- 
sion, are easily enticed into other callings. Men 
so chosen and educated are very apt to consider 
themselves, and to be considered by others, as 
simply paid agents of the mission. Often their 
labors are performed in a mere routine and per- 
functory manner, they evidently caring more for 
employment than for conversions. These are 
serious objections, and yet many good and noble 
men have been so trained ; it does seem that in 
the early stages of mission work there is hardly 
any other way of providing a native ministry. 

So soon as a native church is developed, with 
its accompanying Christian sentiment, the per- 
sonal call to the ministry can be relied upon to 
furnish the material. An effort is then made by 
most of the larger missionary bodies to give a 
broad training to many men, and to rely upon a 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 

certain number, in answer to a divine call, seek- 
ing the ministerial office. In this way the mission 
schools supply a portion of the theological stu- 
dents, but in Japan the larger portion are not 
graduates of the mission schools. 

After the men are supplied, how shall they be 
trained for work? Shall instruction be given in 
Japanese only, or shall English be taught also? 
(For full discussion of this question see Chapter 
XIII.) Shall Greek and Hebrewbe studied? How 
far shall the native religions be taught ? Shall the 
curriculum in other respects be about what it is 
at home, or shall it be modified and especial stress 
laid upon certain subjects ? Shall students study 
privately with the missionaries, or shall theolog- 
ical seminaries be erected? Shall students be 
encouraged to complete their theological training 
in Europe and America ? Space does not permit 
a discussion of each of these questions, but only 
a bare statement of the consensus of judgment 
and practice in Japan after years of experience. 

Shall instruction in the original languages of 
Scripture be given? As to the desirability of 
this there can be no question ; but as the whole 
science of theology is entirely new here, and a 
study of its more important branches requires a 
long time, it has not been customary to give in- 
struction in either of these languages. In recent 
years some seminaries have been trying to intro- 



298 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

duce primary courses in Greek and Hebrew, and 
as the schools grow older, and their equipment 
improves, these languages will gradually be 
added to the curriculum. 

Shall the religious systems and books of Japan 
be taught in theological schools? It is highly 
desirable that native ministers clearly understand 
and be able intelligently to combat the false re- 
ligions around them ; and to this end some semi- 
naries give instruction in the doctrines of Bud- 
dhism and Shinto as well as Christianity. In one 
or two instances Buddhism is taught in Christian 
theological schools by Buddhist priests, but it is 
usually taught by Christian teachers in connection 
with dogmatic theology. As a rule, the native 
ministry desires more thorough instruction in the 
native religions, while the missionaries oppose 
any extension of the curriculum in that direction. 

In general the same branches of theology are 
taught here that are taught at home, It is 
especially desirable that instruction in dogmatics 
and apologetics be thorough and sound, and 
these branches should perhaps be emphasized 
more than others. 

Experience has proved that it is much better 
to have theological schools where the native 
ministry may be instructed than for the mission- 
ary to undertake such instruction in private. 
All the larger missions have fairly well-equipped 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 290 

theological schools, and private instruction is only 
given by a few men whose missions have not yet 
been able to establish these. It is unfortunate, 
both for the student and for the missionary, when 
theological instruction must be given in private. 

Many Japanese have been sent abroad to com- 
plete their theological course, but the experiment 
has not been satisfactory. The consensus of 
opinion now is that for the main body of pastors 
and evangelists a local training is much better 
than a foreign one. A few men of exceptional 
ability may be educated abroad as teachers and 
leaders, but great care must be taken not to de- 
nationalize them. 

Another perplexing question in connection with 
the native church is its relation to the mission- 
aries, On this subject there is great diversity of 
opinion. Shall the missionary retain any control 
over the native church, or shall he have only 
advisory power? Can he take an active part in 
its deliberations, or shall he be excluded from 
them? 

As the church grows and develops it will come 
more and more to rely upon itself and to act in- 
dependently of the mission. The majority of 
Japanese Christians take the ground that the 
missionary has nothing to do with the organized 
native church, but that his sphere is with the 
unevangelized masses and unorganized chapels. 



300 THE GIST OP JAPAN 

In the Congregational churches the missionaries 
have no voice or vote in the meetings and coun- 
cils, and are recognized only as advisory members. 
In contrast to this policy is that of the Episcopal 
and Methodist bodies, in whose councils natives 
and foreigners meet together and deliberate In 
harmony. The meetings arc presided over by 
the foreigners, and they have a controlling voice 
in all legislation. The Presbyterians also take 
part in presbytery and synod, but the Japanese 
usually preside and are in the majority. 

Certainly the missionary should not be pastor 
of the native church and should not exercise lordly 
control over it ; but it "does seem that he should 
retain some influence, or at least should have veto 
power against unwise legislation. 

What shall be the attitude of the native church 
toward certain national habits and customs? 
Here is a problem that often perplexes mission- 
aries and evangelists. It is recognized by all that 
anything squarely in contradiction to Christianity 
must be opposed. On the other hand, it is recog- 
nized that national customs should be carefully 
observed when they are not antichristian or im- 
moral. There are some customs in Japan about 
the nature of which great difference of opinion 
prevails, such as the honors shown dead ancestors, 
bowing before the emperor's picture, contributing 
to certain religious festivals, etc. 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 301 

When a parent dies it is customary for the 
children to pay regular visits to the tomb, to 
make offerings there, and to reverence or worship 
the departed. In the eyes of some this act in- 
volves real worship; to others it is merely an 
expression of reverence and respect It seems 
that Paul's principle of not eating meat for his 
weak brother's sake should be applied here. The 
act in itself may be performed without com- 
promising a Christian's conscience; but for the 
sake of the common people, to whom it means 
worship, it should be omitted by Christians, and 
the churches generally forbid it, 

In all the schools, at certain festivals, the em- 
peror's picture is brought out, and all teachers 
and pupils are required to bow] before it. This 
is a national custom very dear to the hearts of 
the people, and any one failing to comply with it 
is severely censured. Much has been said and 
written as to the religious significance of the act. 
To the more enlightened of the Japanese this 
prostration before the emperor's picture may be 
only an act of deep reverence and respect, such 
as is shown to royalty in the West by the lifting 
of the hat, but to the masses it doubtless is real 
worship, in so far as they know what worship is. 
This is not strange when we remember the almost 
universally accepted belief as to the divine origin 
of the mikado, The government itself virtually 



302 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

acknowledged the religious significance of the act 
when it passed a law permitting foreign teachers 
in the various schools to absent themselves on 
the day of the exaltation of the imperial picture, 
if they so desired. 

Now here is a national custom very dear to the 
people, in itself harmless, but which in the eyes 
of many involves real worship. What shall be 
the attitude of the church toward it ? 

Some religious festivals are observed in Japan 
which have more or less political significance. 
While they are generally held in connection with 
some temple, there may be nothing distinctively 
heathen about the festival itself. To provide for 
the expense, each house is asked to contribute a 
certain amount of money the Christians along" 
with the rest. There is no legal compulsion in 
the matter, but every one contributes, and there 
is a moral necessity to do so. Now what stand 
shall the Christian church take on this matter? 
Shall the members be advised to comply with the 
custom, or shall they be forbidden to do so ? 

How to remain faithful to her Lord, and yet 
not unnecessarily wound the national feelings of 
her countrymen, is the delicate and difficult prob- 
lem which the native church must solve. 

A very important problem is, how to bring 
about more cooperation in mission work. It is 
highly desirable that Christianity present an un- 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 303 

divided front to the enemy, that its forces at least 
work in harmony with one another. 

While men's views on important theological 
questions differ so radically as at present it is 
useless to talk of organic union ; but there can and 
should be brotherly recognition, mutual assistance 
whenever possible, respect for one another's views, 
absence of controversy, scrupulous regard for an- 
other's recognized territory, and hearty coopera- 
tion in all possible ways. 

There is something of this realized in Japan 
to-day. The Christian bodies, as a rule, dwell 
together in peace and harmony, rejoicing in one 
another's welfare. Contentions and strife are 
much less common than in the West. All the 
various branches of the Reformed and Presby- 
terian churches are laboring in hearty coopera- 
tion to build up one united native church. The 
various Episcopal bodies, while themselves or- 
ganically distinct, are also building up an undi- 
vided Japanese Episcopal Church, 

But much yet remains that might be done in 
this line. In matters of publication, theological 
education, etc., that involve heavy expense, plans 
might be devised whereby several missions could 
cooperate, and thus the expense be lessened to 
each and the work better done. To illustrate: 
here is a small mission, with only a few workers 
and a very small amount of money wherewith to 



304 THE GIST OP JAPAN 

operate. It has all the evangelistic work It can 
do, and is unable to support its own theological 
school. Some of its missionaries are taken from 
the evangelistic work and forced to train, as best 
they can, one or two theological students. In 
the same community is a good theological school 
belonging to a sister mission, that has only a few 
students and would be glad to give its advantages 
to the students of the other mission. It does 
seem that some plan of cooperation should be 
devised whereby each could be accommodated. 
This problem is unsolved, and each little mission 
goes on working independently of all the others, 
at the cost of larger expenditure and poorer work. 
An easier form of cooperation very much to 
be desired, which has not yet been consummated, 
is that between different branches of the same 
church. That those known by the same name, 
whose doctrine and polity differ but little, and 
who are separated in the West only by geo- 
graphical divisions, should cooperate on the mis- 
sion field is a plain duty, failure to effect which is 
culpable. Take the great Methodist Church, 
There are five different Methodist bodies at work 
in Japan each one prosecuting its work separate 
and distinct from the others. There is no conflict 
between them, neither is there any cooperation. 
What a saving there would be if these bodies 
would cooperate, especially in the matter of edu- 



SPECIAL PROBLEMS 305 

cational work ! As it is, each one of them sup- 
ports its own academical and theological school, 
at a cost of men and money almost sufficient for 
the needs of all if united. Many of these differ- 
ent schools are at present poorly attended and 
consequently poorly equipped; whereas if the 
whole educational work were done by one or at 
most two institutions there would be a large 
number of students and the equipment could be 
made first-class. 

An effort has been made on several occasions 
to unite these various Methodist bodies, and most 
of them desire a union, but as yet it has failed of 
accomplishment. 

The responsibility for this failure lies much 
more with the home boards than with the mis- 
sionaries. The latter generally desire more co- 
operation, and could bring it about were it not 
for the restrictions placed upon them. This is a 
problem to the solution of which the various 
missionary societies should set themselves in 
earnest. If the advance of the kingdom is partly 
hindered by a lack of this cooperation, then the 
mission boards are responsible before God. 

The above are but some of the problems which 
present themselves to-day in Japan. If I have 
succeeded in impressing the reader with their 
number, complexity, and difficulty of solution, 
my purpose is accomplished. 



XVI 

THE OUTLOOK 

IT is exceedingly difficult to form a reliable 
conjecture concerning the future state of Chris- 
tianity in Japan. In this land the unexpected 
always happens. It has been called a land of 
surprises. Instability, vacillation, and change 
are its characteristics. What is in favor to-day 
may be out to-morrow ; what is out of favor to- 
day may be in to-rnorrow. The signs of the 
times may clearly indicate a certain trend of 
events for the next year, but ere that year has 
come all may change and the happenings be quite 
different from what was expected. The fact is, 
Japan is undergoing a peaceable social and polit- 
ical revolution, and it is hard to tell what a day 
may bring forth. 

But there are certain factors which, if left to 
their natural development, will tend to bring 
about a certain condition, and by considering 
306 



THE OUTLOOK 307 

those factors we can tell something about what 
that condition ought to be. We will attempt, 
then, to take a bird's-eye view of the influences 
in operation on this mission field, and will make a 
surmise as to their probable outcome in the future. 

There are three factors which must be con- 
sidered in attempting to form an opinion as to 
the outlook : the ^vorking forces; the opposition 
to their work; and the natural adaptability or 
inadaptability of the people. We will endeavor to 
look right closely into these. 

Humanly speaking, the forces engaged in any 
work will determine, to some extent, the future 
condition of that work. The future of Christi- 
anity in Japan will depend in part upon the pres- 
ent working Christian forces. These forces are 
the native church, the body of missionaries, and 
the whole mass of mission machinery. 

The burden of the work rests with the native 
church. The evangelization of the masses must 
be chiefly by her effort The standing of Chris- 
tianity in the empire will depend upon her. If 
true to her Lord, and faithful in the discharge 
of the task which He has given, the result will 
probably be good. Now what is the condition 
of the native church in Japan to-day? There 
are 100,000 Christians, including Protestants, 
Greeks, and Romanists. These Christians have 
manifested commendable zeal, earnestness, and 



308 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

piety. The native church is organized, hope- 
ful, and aggressive, yet in many respects not what 
her friends desire and what they pray she may 
be. Very much is yet to be desired in the 
matters of orthodoxy, self-support, and internal 
harmony, but it is not sure that this native church 
is more lacking in these respects than native 
churches in other mission fields. Church history 
seems to indicate that the church in every land 
must go through a certain period of doctrinal 
development. The old heresies of Arianism, 
Pelagianism, and Sabellianism spring up in their 
order on each mission field, and are finally suc- 
ceeded by orthodoxy. Japan is now in that de- 
veloping period, and loose theological views are 
to be expected. There are many men of unor- 
thodox views in the native church, who exert a 
strong influence ; but there are also many men of 
sound evangelical views, who will be able prob- 
ably to restrain the radicals and determine the 
future development I think in time there will 
come to the church in Japan a sounder faith and 
a fuller Christian consciousness, and that she will 
faithfully bear her part in the evangelization of 
this land. Although there are now many ele- 
ments in the church which should not be there, 
we must have faith to leave the removal of them 
to the influence of time and the guidance of the 
Holy Spirit. God will take care of His church 



THE OUTLOOK 309 

and endow her for the work He has given her 
to do. 

The foreign missionaries in Japan can be de- 
pended upon to do all in their power to bring 
about the triumph of Christianity. They are a 
large body of earnest, consecrated workers, led 
by the Spirit of God. With but a few exceptions, 
a more faithful and talented body of men cannot 
be found. There are in all branches of the 
church, including Greek and Roman Catholics, 
876 European missionaries. This number in- 
cludes single and married women. Such a force, 
led by the Holy Spirit, ought to be able to do 
much to hasten the coming of the kingdom in 
Japan. 

Besides the native and foreign workers, all the 
machinery and institutions of various kinds ne- 
cessary for the growth and expansion of the church 
are now in operation. A good Christian litera- 
ture is rapidly forming, numerous Christian 
schools of various grades are planted over all the 
empire, and a large number of Christian colleges 
and theological seminaries are already open. 

When we thus review the human forces upon 
which the future depends we have reason to feel 
encouraged. 

But no matter how strong and consecrated the 
body of workers, the success of the work will in 
some degree be conditioned by the hindrances 



310 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

which are placed in the way. There may be 
certain social or governmental oppositions, certain 
combinations of militating circumstances, which 
will prove insurmountable to the best workers, 
effectually hindering the future of a work other- 
wise promising. 

Formerly, as has been shown, the government 
put every opposition it could in the way of Chris- 
tian work. Long after the prohibitions of Chris- 
tianity were removed governmental influence was 
exerted against it in many ways. Even after 
religious liberty was granted by the promulga- 
tion of the constitution it was far from being 
realized. In certain departments of the govern- 
mental service, especially in the military and 
educational departments, until very recent years 
persecutions were still practised in a mild but 
effective way. But all this is now a thing of the 
past 

The attitude of the government has changed 
recently, and instead of hindering it has actually 
encouraged and in several ways helped in our 
work. During the late war with China it per- 
mitted the sending to the army of three native 
chaplains, and on the field encouraged and helped 
them all it could. These men were not officially 
styled " Christian chaplains/ 1 but were called 
imonski, or comforters. It is not true, as has 
recently been affirmed by a minister in New York, 



THE OUTLOOK 311 

that there are regularly appointed permanent 
Christian chaplains to the Japanese army. None 
but these three have ever been appointed, and 
their appointment was only temporary. But the 
fact that the government granted them permission 
to accompany the armies and encouraged their 
work shows clearly a changed attitude toward 
the Christian religion. 

The same is indicated by the fact that the 
authorities willingly gave permission for the dis- 
tribution of Bibles to the soldiers in every de- 
partment of the army. They even aided in the 
distribution, and often arranged for those who 
distributed them to preach to the soldiers. I 
think few non- Christian lands have ever gone so 
far as this in their encouragement of Christianity. 

From these facts I infer that the government 
will no longer place obstacles in the way of our 
work. Such obstacles have in the past prevented 
many from favoring Christianity, and their re- 
moval augurs well for the future. 

The native religions have very much hindered 
the evangelization of Japan. Their militating 
influence is still active and powerful, but I think 
it is gradually declining. Buddhism will die hard, 
but she is too old, effete, and corrupt permanently 
to withstand her younger and more powerful foe. 
The inherent truth of Christianity must ultimately 
give it the victory. As Japanese education and 



312 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

enlightenment advance, the intrinsic superiority 
of Christianity over Buddhism must appear and 
must recommend it to the people. 

The hope of our religion in this land lies 
largely in the fact of the insatiable desire of the 
people for Western learning and civilization. 
The ever- increasing introduction of Western 
literature, the adoption of our civilization and in- 
stitutions, will necessarily bring about a better 
acquaintance with Christianity, its spirit and aims. 
Then the prejudice against it will gradually die 
out, and it will, appealing to them in its true 
light, the germ and base of all true civilization, 
and the foster-mother of education and enlighten- 
ment, be readily accepted. 

The social hindrances operating against Chris- 
tianity to-day are all local and personal, and will 
probably become less and less until they die a 
natural death. Every part of the empire is abso- 
lutely open, and there is nothing to hinder a full 
and free proclamation of the gospel in every town, 
village, and hamlet in Japan. 

The superior position of Christianity at present 
to that which it held a few years ago is strik- 
ing. Professor Chamberlain, a very close ob- 
server, whose experience in Japan has extended 
over many years, says : " To those who can look 
back thirty years, or even only twenty years, the 
change in the position of Christianity in Japan 



THE OUTLOOK 313 

is most striking, indeed well-nigh incredible. " 
From a hated and despised thing it has risen to 
a position in which it commands the respect of 
many of the best men in the land. 

But there is another element which must be 
taken into consideration in making up an estimate 
of the outlook, and that is the natural adaptability 
or inadaptability of the people for Christianity. 
The farmer may labor long and hard; he may 
sow the best seed; sunshine and rain may lend 
their encouragement; but if the soil is uncon- 
genial the yield will be small. In the same 
way, a strong, consecrated working force may 
labor, unopposed, with might and main in the 
mission field, but if the soil is not congenial the 
results will be small. 

Are the Japanese people well or ill adapted by 
nature to the reception of Christianity? The 
strongest opposition to our work, and the one 
which makes us most anxious for the future, lies 
in the natural constitution of the people for whom 
we labor. Many natural characteristics of this 
people predispose them to reject Christianity. 

I must again refer to that strong nationalistic 
feeling which is inborn in every Japanese and 
which hinders the rapid progress of the gospel. 
This principle, operating within the church, 
threatens to destroy the orthodoxy and integrity 
of the faith. Animated by a patriotic feeling 



314 THE GIST OF JAPAN 

that is more blind than enlightened, the creeds, 
the polity, the life of the church of the West, are 
considered as of little worth, and many parts of 
the native church are extremely anxious to cut 
off everything possible that has a foreign flavor, 
and to create a form of Christianity peculiarly 
Japanese. 

Again, the nationalistic feeling prompts many, 
both in the church and out of it, to chafe at the 
presence of foreign religious teachers in their 
midst The very presence of these teachers is 
looked upon as an implication that the Japanese 
are not competent to instruct themselves in reli- 
gious matters, and this is much resented. As a 
prominent Japanese put it not long ago, " What 
could be more inconsistent or improper than for 
great Japan, that has so recently humbled China 
and forced the admiration of the world for her 
skill in arms, as well as for her educational, com- 
mercial, and industrial development, to be in- 
structed in religious matters by foreigners? " 

Operating in these ways, Japanese patriotism 
ill adapts the people for a reception of Christianity, 

Another feature of the native character which 
is not favorable is its lack of seriousness and 
stability. Religion is a serious, solemn matter, 
but the Japanese are not a serious-minded people. 
Their beliefs have always sat lightly upon them, 
to be taken off and put on at will Where these 



THE OUTLOOK 

characteristics are largely wanting the progress of 
Christianity will probably be slow. 

At present the Japanese are too materialistic 
properly to appreciate a religion so spiritual as 
ours. In religion, as in all other things, they 
desire to receive some present material benefit; 
and when the rewards of Christianity are found to 
be chiefly spiritual, and most of them not realized 
in the present life, a deaf ear is turned. This is 
an era of great material prosperity in Japan, and 
the minds of the people are fully occupied with 
commercial and industrial questions, to the exclu- 
sion of moral and religious ones. 

The most common attitude of the Japanese 
public toward Christianity to-day is one of abso- 
lute indifference. The people think that if 'the 
government permits this religion it cannot be so 
very bad; it is making little progress anyway, 
and they need give it no notice whatever. If 
others care to go and hear about it, all right, but 
as for themselves, they have no relations with it 
The usual experience now when a new chapel is 
opened and preaching begun is that for a few 
times large numbers of people will come out of 
curiosity; then after a little they stop, and no 
further regard is paid to the chapel or the preach- 
ing. The conflict of religions, the inconsistencies 
and shortcomings of the old faiths, the advancing 
knowledge, have combined to bring about a state 



316 THE GIST OP JAPAN 

of indifference, wide-spread and hard to overcome. 
It is in many respects more hurtful than a posi- 
tion of open antagonism. 

The natural tendency of the Japanese mind to 
be skeptical in regard to all supernatural ques- 
tions has been fostered by education to such an 
extent that educated Japan is to-day largely a 
nation of atheists, or at least of agnostics. The 
proud pharisaic spirit is abroad, indisposing the 
race to accept Christ, 

The course of Christianity in the future will 
not be an unopposed, easy march to victory. 
There yet remains a great deal to be done, 
Many clouds still linger on the horizon, making 
us anxious about the morrow. But so much has 
already been done that the churches at home 
should feel encouraged to renew their energies 
for the final contest When one division of an 
army has forced a breach in the enemy's lines, it 
is not left to hold the position alone, but rein- 
forcements are hurried forward to its assistance, 
and the advantage gained is instantly followed 
up. The attack has been made in Japan; the 
enemy's lines have been broken, but the victory 
is not yet. This is no time for retreat, for hesi- 
tancy, or for cavil ; this is a time for prompt rein- 
forcement and liberal support. Let the home 
churches feel that such is their present duty to- 
ward the work in Japan. 



THE OUTLOOK 317 

Although the outlook to-day is not to the 
natural eye very bright, to the spiritual eye all is 
as noonday. The victory has been assured from 
the beginning. However indisposed by nature 
the people among whom we labor may be, what- 
ever hindrances may oppose our work, the word 
of the Almighty has gone forth the kingdoms of 
this ^vorld shall become the kingdoms of oztr Lord 
and of His Christ. The victory is sure, because 
God reigns. In His own good time every oppos- 
ing influence will pass away, and the banner of 
King Immanuel will wave over all this fair land. 
It may not be in the present century ; it may not 
even be in the lifetime of any now living; but it 
will surely be when God's time is fulfilled. 

With an assured faith, built upon the firm 
promises of God, we confidently look forward to 
the time when the empire of Japan shall no 
longer be a mission field, but shall herself send 
the message of light and life to the darkened 
millions around her. 

May God hasten the day. 



INDEX 



Ainu, 10, 33. 

American Board (Congrega- 
tional), iji; history of work, 
1 79 ; strained relations with 
native church, 182. 

Ancestors, worship of, 117, 270, 
301. 

Animals, 29. 

Art, 95. 

Asama, xx. 

Ashikaga, 42. 

Ballagh, Rev. Mr., baptized first 

convert, 175. 
Banking, 103. 
Baptists, 171, 187. 
Bathing, 83. 

Beautiful, love of the, 59. 
Belief, missionary's, 198, 
Berry, Dr. J. C., opinions on 

vacations, 218, 220, 223; his 

medical work, 265- 
Bible, first portions translated, 

X47, 174; translation of, 

essential, 162 ; translation 

committee and work, 175 ; 

distribution to soldiers, 311. 
Bible and tract societies of 

America and England, work 

of, 190. 
Bicycle, 245. 
Birds, 30. 
Biwa, 14. 
Bridges, 16. 



319 



Brotherhood, universal, un- 
known, 136 ; repugnant, 
273. 

Brothers, relation of, 134. 

Brown, Rev. Dr. S. R., 170; 
drafts of New Testament, 

174- 

Buddhism, introduction of, 40 ; 
principal features of, 126 ; his- 
tory of, 127; formative power 
of, 128; temples and priests, 
129; and Christianity, 126, 
130, 279; vitality of, 278, 
311* 

Camphor, 26. 
Census of 1893, 9. 
Chamberlain, Professor, on ad. 

vance of Christianity in Japan, 

312. 
Chaplains, Christian, appointed 

by the government, 310. 
Character, missionary's, 200. 
Cheerfulness, native, 53, 
Children, an allowance for, 214. 
China, early influence of, 39; 

ancient civilization of, 90; 

recent war with, 49, 310. 
Christianity, first introduction 

of, 144 ; early successes, 148 ; 

attempted extermination of, 

154; cannot be extirpated, 

156; prohibitions of, 157, 

172 j edicts against, removed. 



320 



INDEX 



176 ; reaction against, 178 ; by 
nature diffusive, 243 ; revolu- 
tionizing tendency of, 267; 
exclusivencss of, 269; past 
record of, 274; advance of, 
312. 

Church, first organized, 175; 
sifting of, 178. 

Church of Christ in Japan, 184. 

Civilization, definition of, 89; 
Japan's compared xvith West- 
ern, 1 06 ; adoption of West- 
ern, 177. 

Climate, 19-22. 

Clothing, 73, 82. 

Commercial honor, 67 ; moral- 
ity, 1 20. 

Confucianism, and Japanese 
morality, 109 ; ethics of, 1 10 ; 
history of, 130; basal prin- 
ciples of, 131 ; nearest ap- 
proach to Christianity, 135 ; 
contrasted with Christianity, 

24 3- 

Consecration of missionary, 
197. 

Constitution of Japan, 47, 96. 

Converts, first, 175; social 
ostracism of, 279; require- 
ments of, 288 ; indigent, 289. 

Curiosity, native, 212. 

Customs, bearing of, upon mis- 
sion work, 70, 269. 

Davis, Rev. and Mrs, J. D., 180. 

Death, not afraid of, 65. 

Disappointments, missionary's, 
226. 

Doshisha University, 180; ra- 
tionalistic teaching of, 181. 

Duty, ours to the missionary, 
229 j joy of doing, 231. 

Earthquakes, 12, 13. 
Educational system of Japan, 

93, 255; antagonistic to 

Christianity, 276, 



Educational work of missions, 
compared with evangelistic, 
250; criticism of, 253; 
hinders self-support, 260. 

Embassy to Rome, 149. 

Kmperor, power of name, 55? 
worship of picture, 112, 301. 

Environment, missionary's, un- 
favorable, 227. 

Episcopalians, 170, 183; five 
branches of, 186; native 
church, 187, 303. 

Ethnology, 32, 33. 

Europeamzation of Japan, 46, 
91; our hope, 312. 

Evangelization, 234; mission- 
aries must be evangelists, 
235 ; subordinated to educa- 
tional work, 236; local, 237; 
itinerating, 242. 

Exiles, missionaries, 225, 228. 

Exports, 27. 

Facial expression, $3. 

Farms, 23. 

Festivals, religious, 302, 

Feudalism, ri.se of, 41 ; condi- 
tions under, 145. 

Fish, 30. 

Food, 80, 

Foreign pastor, 230* 

Foreigners, treatment of, 44, 
136; country open to, 170, 
171 J ungodly example of, 
282, 

Formosa, 9. 

Franchise, limited, 96. 

Friends, 135. 

Fuji-san, 12. 

Fujiwara family, 41. 

Funerals, 84. 



Geography of Japan, 9-1 5. 

Girls' boarding-schools, 255 ; 
purpose of, 256 ; end defeated 
by etiquette, 257; reasons 
for and against, 258, 259. 



INDEX 



321 



Goble, Rev. J,, translation of 

Matthew, 174. 
God, Japanese word for, 249, 

262, 
Government, Japanese, 95 ; 

paternalism of, 58; hostile 

to Christianity, 172, 173,313. 
Gratitude, 66, 
Greek Church (Russian), 165 ; 

its founder, 166; its cathe* 

dral, 167; its work, 168. 
Greene, Dr. and Mrs., 1 80, 
Greetings, 88, 
Gulick, Rev. 0. IL, 180; story 

of his teacher, 172. 

Hara-kiri (belly-cutting), 85, 

Haughty bearing of mission" 
ary, 241. 

Health of missionary, the first 
qualification, 193 ,* medical 
examinations, 195 ; allowance 
for, 215,* and vacations, 216. 

Heathen faiths opposed to 
Christianity, 277, 311. 

Hibachi, 80. 

Hideyoshi, 43; persecutor of 
Christians, 150. 

Hindrances to Christianity, 266 ; 
common to all fields, 267; 
peculiar to Japan, 271; the 
greatest, 313. 

Hiroshima, 18. 

Hollanders, 10, 44, 156, 158. 

Homes, mission, necessity of 
as examples, 207, 211; com- 
fort of, 210; a Western 
home, 212. 

Hondo, 9. 

Houses, Japanese, use of, 76; 
construction of, 78; furni- 
ture, 79. 

Human life, cheap, 64. 

Imitativeness, 64. 
Imperial University, 94. 
Inconsistency, 63. 



Inland Sea, 10. 

Inns, Japanese, 245. 

Inquirers, hoxv to deal with, 
238, 286. 

Instability, of people, 6 1, 314; 
of civilization, 105. 

Intellectual life, 54; open- 
mindedness, 59, 

Islands of Japan, 9, 10, 1 1. 

Itinerating, 242; greatest hin- 
drance to, 246 ; kinds of, 247 ; 
objections to, 249. 

Iyeyasu,43, 109; and the battle 
of Sekigahara, 153; persecu- 
tion of Christianity, 153, 

Japan, the land of, 9; new, 
birth of, 45 ; religions of, 122. 

Japanese, reliable history of, 
40; characteristics, 51 ; man- 
ners and customs, 69,- civi- 
lization, 89; morality, 107; 
skeptical, 316. 

Jesuits, introduction of Chris- 
tianity by, 45. 
Jimmu Tenno, 36, 38. 
ingo, Empress, 39. 

Jinrikisha, 63, 244. 

Joys of the missionary, 231. 

Kagoshima, 18. 

Kanagawa, 18. 

Kasatkin, Bishop Nicolai, 

founder of Greek mission, 

1 66. 

Korea, subjugation of, 39. 
Kyoto or Saikyo, 10, 17, 18. 
Kyushu, 9; Dutch residence 

on, 10. 

Lakes, 14. 

Land, cultivated, II, 22; pic- 
turesque, 14; irrigation of, 
22; terracing, 23. 

Language, structure of, 55; 
difficult to learn to read, 93 ; 
first dictionary of, 1 74 ; talent 



INDEX 



for, essential to the mission- 
ary, 203 ; difficult to master, 
262, 284. 

Lawrence, Dr, E,, on common 
sense, 204; on exiles, 225; 
'* axioms of missions," 292. 

Laws, 96. 

Libraries, how regarded, 72. 

Life, chief of all evils, 127. 

Liggins, Rev. J., 170. 

Lights, 103. 

Literature, native, 92; Chris- 
tian, 261, 263. 

Love of humanky, missionary's, 

*99- , , , 

Loyalty, first moral principle, 

m, 132. 

Lutherans, missionary prob- 
lems of, 188; purpose in 
Japan, 189. 

McDonald, Dr,, on furloughs, 
224. 

Mails, 10 1, 246. 

Manufactories, 104, 

Marriage, customs, 75 ? rela- 
tion, 133; essential to mis- 
sionary, 206. 

Martyrs, 115. 

Materialism in Japan, 277, 3x5. 

Maxims, 117, 272. 

Medical missions, 264; no 
longer needed in Japan, 26$. 

Mental qualifications of the mis- 
sionary, 201. 

Methodist Church in Japan, 
171, 183; branches of, 185, 
304; present status of, 186. 

Mikados, 41. 

Minamoto, great clan, 41. 

Minerals, 28, 

Missionaries, lives in danger, 
171; qualifications of, 192; 
private life of, 209; extent 
and variety of work of, 234; 
number of, in Japan, 309. 

Missions in Japan, modern Ro- 



man and Greek, 160 ; Protes- 
tant, 169; the " happy time" 
of, 177; differing policy of, 
182; small bodies, 190; re- 
sults of, 191 ; projected on 
too high a plane, 260 ; hin- 
drances to, 266 ; special prob- 
lems of, 286 ; the outlook of, 
306. 

Morality, compared with West, 
109, 117; chief defect of, 

121, 

Music in the Greek Church, 

167- 

Mutsuhito, 47. 
Mythological history, 36-39. 
Mythology, 34, 122* 

Nagasaki, to. 

Nagoya, 18. 

Native church, its relation to 
the missionary, 182,228,299, 
314; missionary's crown, 
232; development of, 242; 
hurtful national feeling in, 
273 ; problem of, 290 ; polity 
of, 290 ; self-support, 293 ; 
reasons for dependence, 294; 
attitude toward national hab- 
its and customs, 300 ; condi- 
tion of, to-day, 307. 

Native ministry, educated, 351 ; 
how provided, 295 ; how 
trained, 297. 

Neesima, Dr., 181. 

Newspapers, Japanese, 92 ; 
value of Christian, 263. 

Ninon, native name of empire, 

10, 

Nihon-bashi, center of empire, 
1 6. 

Nobunaga, 43 ; patron of early 
Christianity, 148 ; assassi- 
nated, 150, 

Obedience, result of, 58. 
Official honor, 68, 



Okayama, 18. 

Omiiki, founder of Tenrikyo, 

i 3 8. 

Open ports, 19. 
Originality, native, 63. 
Outlook in Japan, 306; bright 
to spiritual eye, 317. 

Parental relation, 133. 

Parental respect, 57; great 
ethical principle, 116. 

Passports, 246, 

Patriotism, extreme, 55; hin- 
ders Christianity, 272, 313. 

Perry, Commodore, and the 
opening of Japan, 44. 

Persecutions, causes of, 150; 
Christians exiled, 172; Unit- 
ed States government and, 
176; cessation of, 177; mem- 
ory of, 275. 

Physique, native, 33. 

Politeness, the exalted virtue, 
85 ; ridiculous extremes, 87. 

Portuguese, discovery of Japan, 
43; captain and Hideyoshi, 
150. 

Prayer, 169. 

Presbyterian Board of Foreign 
Missions in the United 
States, 169, 170. 

Problems, special, 286. 

Railways, 97. 

Rainfall, 21. 

Reformed Church in America, 
170. 

Religion, Japanese, composite, 
123; influence of, 142; and 
morality, 268. 

Rivers, 13. 

Roads, 15, 1 6. 

Roman Catholic Church in 
Japan, pioneer work of, 
144; driven out, 154; early- 
mistakes, 158, 161 ; the work 
resumed, 160; peculiar hin- 



drances to, 163; prosperity 
of, 164. 

Ronins, story of the forty- 
seven, 112. 

Sake, 119. 

Salary of the missionary, 213; 
when on furlough, 219. 

Schools, Sunday-, 239; mis- 
sion, 251; academical, 253; 
girls', 255. 

Sectarianism, a hindrance to 
missions, 281; disappearing, 
303 ; advantages of coSpera- 
tion, 304. 

Self-control of missionary, 205. 

Sermons, kind of, 249. 

Sexes, relation of, 73. 

Shikoku, ro. 

Shimabara, fall of, 155. 

Shinto, revival of, 45; moral- 
ity, io8j history of, 123; 
state religion, 125 ; ancestors, 
270; opposing Christianity, 
278. 

Shogun (tycoon), 42; aboli- 
tion of the office, 46. 

Sign language, graceful, 76. 

Simmons, Dr. D. B., 170. 

Sin, no word for, 249, 262. 

Society, missionary's need of, 
216, 217, 225. 

Spiritual qualifications of the 
missionary, 197. 

Steamers, 99. 

Suicides, 65, 120. 

Taira, great clan, 41. 

Taylor, Dr. W., 265; opinions 
on missionary's qualifica- 
tions, 194; furloughs, 220, 
221, 224. 

Telegraphs, 99, 246. 

Tenrikyo, missionary religion, 
137; origin of, 138; teach- 
ings of, 139; distinguishing 
characteristics, 141, 



024 



INDEX 



Theological training, necessity 
of, 251 ; in English Ian- 
"guage, 252; abroad, 252, 
299 ; place of native religions 
in, 298. 

Theology, native, rationalistic^, 
181 ; desire for, 274; for- 
mative stage, 308. 

Tidal waves, 13. 

Tokaido, most famous road, 16. 

Tokyo, the capital, 10, 17. 

Tone-gawa, largest river, 14. 

*' Topsyturvydom," 70. 

Treaties, American, 45, 107; 
English, 170; revision of, 
48, 178- 

Typhoons, 22. 

Vacations of missionaries, sum- 
mer, 216; furloughs, 218, 
224 ; argument against, 219 ; 
medical opinions in favor of, 
220; from an economic 



standpoint, 221 ; useful to 
native and home churches 

alike, 222, 
Vegetarians, So. 
Vcrbcck, Rev. Dr. G. F. 171, 

*75- 
Visitation, advantages of, 239 ; 

and Japanese etiquette, 240. 
Volcanoes, xi. 

Wife, missionary's, health of, 

196. 
Williams, Rev. C M. (Bishop), 

170, 175. 
Work, methods of, 234. 

Xavier, St. Francis, first mis- 
sionary to Japan, 146. 

Yezo, 9 ; location and climate, 

xo, 

Yoritomo, first shogun, 42. 
Yokohama, n. 




124911